Terrapin Rye Squared | Terrapin Beer Company

very good
470 Reviews
Terrapin Rye SquaredTerrapin Rye Squared

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
Double the malt, double the hops, and double the flavor of the original Rye Pale Ale recipe.

An "Imperial Pale Ale".

Added by Todd on 05-06-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 470 | Ratings: 605
Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Terrapin has been doing some unique runs, including this interesting melange of Malt: 2-row pale, Munich, Malted Rye, Bisuit Malt, Honey Malt. Hops: Amarillo, Cascade, East Kent Goldings, Fuggle, Magnum.Thanks Drunkmonk for sending.
Small head with malt and some grapefruit aroma, a good amount of taste, with rye dominating a double IPA hit.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a red color with a nice looking fan head on it. The smell of the beer is pretty hoppy. Not much else happening on the nose here. The taste of the beer is strong with hops and rye. The spiciness of both really collide in this brew. The mouthfeel was pretty nice here. Good amount of carbonation. Overall it's not a bad beer. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the more creative and well brewed beers that I've had in a while. Much like their Rye Pale Ale, but on steroids. Very, very sweet barley malts, taking on syrupy proportions, set the tone for the beer with a mold molassas flavor, pumpernickle rye bready flavors, and strong hop bitterness. The pour is a deep mohogany hue with great clarity. Very well headed and softly carbonated. The smell is very barley-like and worty, with a balancing pine hop aroma riding in the background. The flavors, aside from the sweetness, are fruity (ripe pears, plumbs, and nuts) and spicy (pine, grass, and a light astingency), and a hint of copper. The sweetness is nearly teeth-hurting, cotton candy-like. The feel is full and heavy on the toung with a slick, sticky finish, cleaned up by the hops and bold alcohols. I really like this beer, but could do without the bite in the back of the throat.

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Photo of brentk56
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper color with a modest head that leaves the occasional splash of lace

Smell: Rich, malty caramel with subtle undertones of rye spice

Taste: Starts with a biscuity flavor the quickly overwhelms with sweetness; mid-palate, the sour rye character starts to make itself known and that builds after the swallow; the hops never really kick in, flavorwise, and the sweetness returns to dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous, with moderate carbonation; considerable alcohol warmth after the swallow

Drinkability: Interesting flavor profile, but the sweetness starts to weigh you down

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy deep orangey color beer with a nice creamy slightly off-white head with good retention. Aroma is quite hoppy with some nice citrus feature. Taste is also hoppy but with a distinctive note of rye which I’m quite fond of. Body is actually quite full and alcohol is well hidden. Very interesting and different take on the style.

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Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Edition

A - Poured out a clear, golden amber color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left sticky patches of lace on the glass.

S - Strong rye malt aroma with pine and citrus hop presence.

T - Burnt toast and rye lead off followed by a very spicy hop presence. Orange peel and pine give it a strong bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a really good rye double IPA. I would like to compare it to a fresher bottle sometime.

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Photo of oline73
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy reddish amber with a half finger of off white head that goes away quickly.

Smell: Sweet malt with some dark fruit and brown sugar. Mild citrus hops in there as well.

Taste: Quite sweet again, but there are more hops here then in the smell. Some rye spice, but not a huge amount. The sweetness reminds me of dark fruit and brown sugar. The finish is bitter from citrus peel hops.

Mouthfeel: On the thick side of medium body with a good amount of tingly carbonation and a slightly slick finish.

Overall: Enjoyed the sweetness and the hops, but I wish they would have blended a little bit better. Sweetness dominates at first and then the bitterness takes over. Would have liked more overall balance.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark orange color with an off white head. The nose brings a pretty decent amount of some citrus and pine hops. Definite sweetness coming through as well. The taste is really quite sweet with some zest and spice in addition to bitterness. Pine, bread, citrus, and some light alcohol. Moderate mouthfeel with a bit of a kick. Drinks fairly well, but not as good as many of their other hoppy offerings.

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Photo of nickfl
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy, reddish-orange body, topped with one finger of slightly orange tinged white foam. Ok retention, good lace.

S - Hops, alcohol, and malt. The hop aroma is floral/ spicy and it is inextricably melded into the sweet malt and the alcohol to produce the "velvety" hop aroma I normally associate with an American barleywine. There is some fruity yeast character evident as well, a hint of apricots, and perhaps a bit of acidity.

T - Alcohol and hops mingle on the palate and coat the mouth. There is a big malt presence on top that fades into solid bitterness and roasty malt notes in the finish with a bit of tobacco lingering on the palate.

M - Heavy, mouthcoating body with moderate carbonation.

D - This is a very big, strongly flavored beer. As such it is inherently limited in its drinkability. For what it is, it represents a strong effort that is reasonably complex. It a bit sweeter than I would like it to be, however, and it seems to me that it might be better classified as a double IPA. This would potentially be a good beer with a cigar.

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Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep hazed burnt orange with the chunks and floaties swirling about with a great creamy-like one finger head that was there thru the duration of the whole glass,citrusy aromas waft right away with undertones of pine quite fresh on the nose and very effervescent.Now the big hoppiness in this brew doesnt show up right off the bat it seemd to take awhile before it really kicked in when it it does its quite citrusy with the before grapefruit taking center stage the rye comes in the finish and after taste with just a light sour punch.Incredibly drinkable at 8.5%alc. I would have never guessed,its not as bold as I had thought it would be but its pretty damn good.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer but was hoping for a little more rye flavor... as it is, it's a pretty basic big, malty and hoppy ale

It poured a hazy deep-amber accented copper body beneath a frothy cap off light tan. The head retention was quite good, and it left some nice lace about the glass.

The nose delivers a touch of the suggested rye with a hint of spiciness amidst it's big, lightly toasty malty sweetness - although that might be hops, as I'm not picking up as many hops as I expected either (a fresh bottle might be needed). Or, it could be a hint of alcohol peeking through. Regardless, it's rich maltiness is enough to lure me in, and it is balanced rather than just sugary sweet. Very nice!

In the mouth it's creamy and smooth with a full body and moderate, very fine bubbled carbonation.

The flavor is exactly as the aroma suggests with a big, rich, lightly toasty, biscuity, and somewhat rye-like (spicy, earthy) maltiness that's threaded through with floral, leafy, subtly citrus fruity, and spicy (?) hops. It's rich and complex, but tightly-wrapped. Specific flavors don't really pop out at you, it works more as one very rounded malty beer. But there's a lot going on and you could mull over this for quite some time. It's backed by a solid bitterness that does what it can to keep the sweet, bready/doughy/toasty/biscuity maltiness in check, and a splash of alcohol also helps to thin things out.

Overall I think the alcohol is very well contained for 8.5%; and it's well worth trying for lovers of malty sweet beers!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from mikesgroove, 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 cloudy rusty brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of rye malts, citrus, caramel, floral hops and some spice.

T: The taste has a lot going on. There are sweet flavors of citrus and caramel; a strong floral hops bitterness; bready & spicy rye malts and a significant alcohol sting. However, it seems to me that the balance doesn't seem to quite be where it should be. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, it's a decent beer but there are certainly many others that I would pick first.

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Photo of mactrail
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Has that classic DIPA look-- orange-amber and slightly hazed, and nice lacing. Invitingly viscous in the Orval chalice. Yeasty, baking bread aroma. Hops fill in the profile but the bitterness is much less than others of the style. The malt is so sweet I suspect a blind tasting would show this up as a big Tripel, as the rye gives it a grainy, astringent touch that tastes so much like the big Belgians.

I think the Imperial Pale Ale is a great style for amping up the malt to more efectively balance the hops. It's like a barley wine, though it tastes stronger than it is. This is one of my favorites for the huge, rich flavor. There are two forks in the road and I like the path through the sweet malt fields. But I stop to smell the hops.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this one at the Terrapin "Horizontal" Monster Tasting at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur, Ga.

Appearance: Arrived hazy, and colored a rich, rusty orange hue topped with a bold, admirably sticky beige head.

Smell: Holy moly, what an odor! A honey-covered biscuit surrounded by a swarm of vicious hop bees. Quite a fierce aroma, smelling primarily of luscious grassy, citrusy hops over a foundation of sweet malts.

Taste: Rye biscuits slathered with a rainbow of citrus flavors. Concentrated grassy, peppery hop flavors hit hard in the mouth, but ease off relatively quickly, yielding to the caramelly malts as the beer warms through a bit. The alcohol is present, but not overly pronounced, and just provides a welcome bit of heat as the beer goes down.

Mouthfeel: Just a hair under full-bodied, while still remaining quite thick and creamy upon the palate.

Drinkability: Not bad, but I seriously doubt I could put away much more than a pint or two in one sitting. Still, though, its an intriguing brew, and quite delectable when all is said and done.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Radiant ripe apricot that became significantly more cloudy as all but the final ounce entered the glass on the initial pour. The crown is a thing of beauty. It's lightly lemon and orange-tinted alabaster in color, thick and buttery in texture and hop resiny enough to throw up a pretty fair display of lace (the generous ABV is probably dissolving the glass coverage to some extent). The beer looks like it tastes incredible. That's all I ask.

If I loved Rye PA's nose, why wouldn't I love a beer that shares the same recipe, except doubled? I do love it, I do! It may not be quite as hop juicy as its little brother, but it's equally appealing in a spicy-sweet, citric fruity kind of way. I admit that I'm biased toward American hops, but Amarillo and Cascade make this beer what it is. What it is... is great.

Unfortunately, Rye Squared isn't the explosive hop bomb that I had hoped it would be. It's still damn good beer though. I had concerns when I read that both malt and hops would be doubled to get from 'Rye1' to 'Rye2'. True hopheads (and I have every reason to think that Spike and John fit that description given the amazing beer that they design and will some day brew) would have cheated downward on the malt and upward on the hops.

The day is saved, however, by the use of malted rye; the other key to the deliciousness of both of these beers. Just as in good bourbon, the spiciness of that particular grain adds something different, something intriguing, something special to the 'same old, same old' mold that everyone else uses. The rock solid malt backbone is sweet and spicy and brown sugary and is very nearly baby barleywine-like.

In fact, this beer is an American Barleywine at least as much as it's an American Strong Ale, a DIPA or an 'Imperial Pale Ale' (as it's designated by the brewery). The hops are so damn tasty that I want more of them. Tripling the hop load would have worked out just fine as far as I'm concerned. The caramel-covered white grapefruitiness of the Cascade comes through loud and clear while the tropical fruitiness of the Amarillo is less evident.

The 8.5% ABV is noticeable, although not bothersome. There's enough else going on that a bit of unmasked alcohol is a welcome member of the mouth party. So much for being a lace killer. A thick, crusty coat has appeared now that the bottom of the glass is drawing closer. The body/mouthfeel is as aggressive as the rest of the beer and has been perfectly calibrated to promote maximum stickage on the tongue and mucous membranes. There is no finish, there is only flavor.

Rye Squared isn't quite the beer that I expected it to be and it isn't quite the beer that it could have been with a minor tweak to the malt:hop balance. On the whole though, this is another stunning beer from what I believe to be the best little brewery in the South. The hophead's creed is that there is no beer that wouldn't benefit from more hops. Terrapin Beer Company gets it.

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Photo of russpowell
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours slightly hazy amber to red with a finger deep sand colored head. Beautiful lacing & head retention

Smell: earthy hops & not much else sneaks through

Taste: Big biscuitty malt up front followed by caramel & oakiness. Piney bitterness aserts itself as it warms along with a slight alcohol presence. Finishes hoppy & chewy

MF: rich & chewy with good carbonation

Drinks too easy for the abv, I really enjoy this. Cheers to ddarden for this one!

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I cannot believe it took me this long to finally get up and get some rye squared, I should be ashamed. Hopefully we will start seeing these seasonals from Terrapin locally so I dont have to make a trek, but onto the beer. Poured an exceptional clear, dark amber with a big fizzy off white head that faded to reveal a thin layer of lace that stayed throughout, and in fact a smallish quarter inch head lasted till the end as well. Lots of carbonation, in fact rings of bubbles were still streaming till the last sip, very nice looking.

Smell was a bit hot, as the alcohol was definatly noticeable. Lots of aromas of bread and yeast after it warmed, but these were drowned out by a nice piney hop presence. The taste was quite intresting. As this was my first taste of the brew, and being a huge fan of the rye pale, I thought it may be a trumped up version, but in fact has a life all its own. First impression was that I did not expect it to be soo strong, it took a second to get used to. Impeccably crisp and clean feeling going down, almost effortless. Lots of hop presence here, citrus flavors, biteer with grapefruit and pineapple. Nice balance on the back with bready malts and cereal flavors. Great dry, leave you wanting more finish rounded this out nicely.

Overall this one was very nice. This is not your hot summer day, mowing the lawn pale ale though, this one is a sipper for sure, but a very enjoyable one at that. Not my favorite of the big Terrapins, but you would be hard pressed to unseat Big Hoppy. This is a damn fine offering from them though and I highly recommend giving it a try.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed a pint at Al's of Hampden served chilled in a Nonic

A very clear copper color with visible carbonation and light beige cap measuring about 1/2 inch with a quick to compress head that becomes a ring and leaves streamers of lace. The smell is fruity with some light stone fruit notes and subtle bready aroma w/ rye evident with a slight hint of nutty aroma. The feel is good with smooth balance of bitter hops and creamy malt which has a high amount of effervescence backing with a subtle sweet caramel and semi dry finish.

The taste is good w/ a nice dry malt flavor w/ slight caramel tinge and gentle yeast element which gives a stone fruit taste and the rye flavor is present with hints of spicy hops in there -Not as hoppy as some other Rye IPA's from the west coast in the flavor, but the hops also don't cover the rye up which is nice. I like the balance (over 9% balanced?) Terrapin achieved with earthy sweet and light toffee malt flavorand a slightly bitter grassy finish. Overall I would drink this again and found it to be a good all around Rye IPA with decent amount of malt presence. I would not recommend it to those who enjoy overly bitter (zero malt flavor) Imperial IPA's, though.

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Photo of billab914
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Terrapin glass. It poured a murky, dark amber color with a bit of an orange hue to it as well. It started with a thin and frothy white lacing barely covering the top of the beer. The head clung to the edges of the glass and left some decent lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a bright citrusy flavor to it with a good dose of grapefruit and a bit of a mango, pineapple, tropical fruit like presence. The rye comes through pretty well to give it a bit of a bready, spicy flavor. I love rye in hoppy beers.

The taste starts out with some brighter citrus notes to it. Midway I get a lot more of the sweeter malt and bready rye flavors. In the finish I get a nice mix of citrusy, fruity, bitter hops and sweeter, bready malty and rye flavors. It has a bit of a lingering sweetness after the bitterness subsides in the finish. Very nice mix overall.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being a bit below average. Drinkability is good, I really enjoyed it overall. I love a bit of rye flavor in hoppy and big beers, and this one did it pretty well. Very nice beer overall.

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Photo of Jason
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap @ Taco Mac - Decatur, GA

A- Hazed reddish copper with some lacing, you can almost see the thickness of this brew.

S- Sweet and spicy aroma, no this is not Pan-Asian cuisine. Lots of malt sweetness in the nose.

T&M- Malty sweetness, mildy crisp with in a thick body. Hop petal flavor with a light bitterness. Lots of toasted malt with a thick spicy rye character. Finishes sweet with a warming alcohol.

Nice! I could sit down with this one for a while and sip it away. But after one I had to go to something else as the sweetness was too much IMO.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.42/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Charlie for sending me one of these in a recent trade.

A: The pour is a sort of muddy copper color with almost no head, just a thin ring of off-white foam.

S: A bit on the sweet side in terms of aroma. Caramel and toffee along with sweet oranges and maybe just a touch of grapefruit and spicy rye.

T: They rye and alcohol really dominate the flavors. A fair amount of spice along with a pronounced alcohol flavor. Not overly hoppy, but perhaps some citrus.

M: A pronounced flatness really doesn't say "IPA" to me. I find it to be a bit sticky and chewy.

D: Not really my favorite of the Terrapin beers I've tried. Part of the problem is that totally flat pour, but I didn't find the flavors to be all that impressive anyway.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 3/27 notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a nice amber color with an inch of white head and moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of citrus hops mostly. Some malts as well, but more hops than malts.

t - Tastes of citrus hops and some smooth bready malts. A bit of bitterness in the aftertaste.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Some warmth as the high ABV is evident.

d - I thought this was a pretty good beer. I thought the hops and malts were very well balanced in the taste, more so than the smell. Would try again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring at Roswell's Taco Mac appears a deep ruby amber tone with alrge creamy white head leaves fine even lacing all around my pint glass. Aroma has strong flow of herbal hops with some pine herbal and grapefruit as well, but wow deep alcohol and rich fig, raisin, and molasses notes as well slightly burn brown sugar with caramel malt richness very nice depth here, I was expecting more like a double IPA b/c of the Rye PA little bro's nature. Flavor contains an even bitterness kinda barleywine/strong ale for sure yet the hops are definitely evident after a few hop burps but big lush maltiness comes off complex over ripened fruit notes namingly raisin and figs. Mouthfeel is fuller bodied a bit syrupy slow bubblin carbonation trying to stand up to the big bodied brew. Drinkability is one meant to be enjoyed for the complexity and deep malt and moderate hop character very tasty showing off what Georgia can do with that abv increase.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clouded amber with a nice creme head. Nose is tight citrus with good ryes tones. Flavor brings the same. Good hearty rye edges with a sweet and citric tone that rounds it out just slightly. A bit of a burn on there possibly from alcohol. Feel is slightly thicker, though not that much so on liquid. Carbonation is smooth. This is intense and a bit hearty. Not really an August beer, but I am certainly still appreciating it.

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Photo of jwc215
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2007, 12 oz. bottle:

Pours amber with copper hues and quite a bit of clarity. A towering tan head grows than diminishes and lasts. Broken rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of caramel - lots of it - with soft hop spiciness and an earthy background.

The taste is of caramel with some carroway/rye. The peppery alcohol is very noticeable, almost interfering. This is very malty with some citrus/resin. Malt sweetness dominates.

The carbonation subsides, leaving a syrupy body.

Not bad - but too malty and alcoholic, rendering it too sweet - for too much of it.
Not overly impressed - could have been better/more balanced.

Glad I had a chance to have it - thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing it back for me from his trip to Georgia.

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Terrapin Rye Squared from Terrapin Beer Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 605 ratings.
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