Terrapin All American Imperial Pilsner | Terrapin Beer Company

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Terrapin All American Imperial PilsnerTerrapin All American Imperial Pilsner
208 Ratings
Terrapin All American Imperial PilsnerTerrapin All American Imperial Pilsner

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.90%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 07-09-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 208 |  Reviews: 149
Photo of kylehay2004
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger head with excellent lacing on a cloudy golden with orange hues body.

S: clean and mild with mostly pale malts and light sweet citrus with almost noting else coming through for me.

T: grains and both bready and pale malts. Mildly bitter without any sweet flavors. the citrus is even more understated than was picked up in the aroma.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: I actually really liked how drinkable this one is. so many of these are too boozy and although it is simple, its flavorful enough for my liking.

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Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Barcade, Jersey City, NJ

A: The beer is hazy yellowish orange in color. It poured with a large patch of white bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of orange peels in the nose along with some hints of grassy hops and alcohol.
T: Like the smell, the taste has notes of orange peels from start to finish. It also has a light to moderate amount of bitterness, which particularly lingers through the finish.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish.
O: This beer hides its alcohol relatively well and the orangey flavors help to keep this from tasting too malty or boozy.

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Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a modest head that leaves some lacing

Smell: Pineapple and graham cracker with a vague hint of noble hops

Taste: Starts with a very sweet pineapple juice character that after the swallow becomes a bit richer and is joined by some bitter flavors and warming alcohol

Mouthfeel: Slightly thick and well carbonated

Drinkability: Like the DFH Golden Shower, I think this beer misses the point. I would much prefer an Imperial Pilsner to be Germanic with a less fruity but more noble hop bitterness.

Postscrip - Two years later, I purchased a bottle of the 2006 from Bruisin Ales in Asheville and I like it much better. The alcohol has toned down and the fruity flavors have melded nicely with the bitter. Who would have guessed an Imperial Pilsner would age so nicely?

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Unclemattie: Poured a cloudy copper/amber color with a light foamy head with minimal retention and no lacing. Aroma of sweet malt kind of took me by surprise with some dry hops. Taste is dominated by some sweet malt almost reminiscent of a barleywine with a dry hoppy finish which clash with the malt profile. Body is quite full with some average carbonation and no apparent alcohol. I didn't like the mix between the sweet malt and the hops and it is not something I would wish to try again.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap at Barcade in Jersey City, NJ

A: Pours a hazy medium golden yellow in color with some very light notes of orange when held up to the light. The beer has a quarter finger tall white head that quickly reduces to a medium sized thin patch of bubbles near the center of the beer and a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: The beer has moderate notes of bready and caramel malts with some lighter notes of orange peel and grassy hops.

T: Like the smell of this beer, the taste starts out with the flavors of bready and caramel malts. There are also flavors of orange peel and grassy hops that contribute moderate amounts of bitterness which lingers only shortly.

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

O: Enjoyable but not anything special that makes it stand out - the addition of the orange peel is interesting but not completely successful for the style (in my opinion). Not sure I would seek this one out again.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a bottle contract brewed at Frederick in MD... What I enjoyed most about Terrapin's All American was that it wasn't overdone like so many Imperial pilsners can be. Sure it initially seemed light for the style, but there was a full and fairly rich maltiness to it; and it did have a decent amount of hops. It was balanced and drinkable, with a little bit of extra character. The malt flavor was clean, the hops came through clearly, and the alcohol was fairly well cloaked. In fact, the only downside I see is that there's really not much there to warn you of its strength; and for a beer of 8% I think I would like a little more flavor. Still, I could enjoy more than one of these. Good show!

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Photo of jlindros
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to cpinto6 for this interesting beer, another one from the great brewery Terrapin, and after Obama was elected again, yay.

Pours a pasty white fluffy 1.5 finger head that fades at a med pace, surprisingly light lacing thought, over mostly clear golden tan colored with a slight wheat beer like haze.

Nose has strong malts, straw, light wheat like almost hay, toasty golden malts, light booze and sweetness, light grassy herbal hops.

Taste continues, more big malts, sweetness with toasty golden malts, some straw and a big pilsner malt flavor but very little of the pilsner softness or crispness, a juicy sweet malty flavor, like fermented malt juice (imagine that). Then big hops, grassy herbal hops, lightly spicy and earthy too, with a fair amount of bitterness that ramps the more I swirl it around my mouth. Some warming booze in teh background weighs down the sweetness and bitterness. Finish is a bit drier but sticky and semi sweet, more lingering booze warmth and light pilsner malts, and a long semi bitter herbal hop finish.

Mouth is med bodied but feels bigger than it should for a pilsner, hence the imperial, with some warming booze and decent carb.

Overall decent, malts are pretty good but a bit too heavy for a pilsner, imperial pilsners just don't make sense to me, it's counter intuitive as a pilsner is supposed to be soft light and crisp, this is very little soft and crisp, and not light by any means. The hops are not much my cup of tea either, herbal, grassy in the wrong way, and fairly bitter that offsets the beer a bit. The sweetness, booze, and bitterness balance fairly well though.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from bboven, 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 gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of hops, caramelized malts, lager yeast and some citrus.

T: The taste is hoppy and bitter up front, with some flavors of caramel and citrus in the background. There's a hearty malt character that provides some substance. There's also a notable alcohol sting. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a good beer to drink for a while if you're looking for a strong and flavorful beer.

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Photo of oberon
2.73/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had anticipated having this beer for a couple years prior to finally having it and man what a let down,poured a clear medium golden with a thinner white head that didnt stick around long.Big overly sweet aromas some adjuct-type vegetal notes a slight herbalness but its faint if had no idea what I was drinking I would say this is a Euro strong lager really.Flavors I'll harp back to the Euro strong lager its overly sweet and the alcohol reallyshows itself at times it almost burnt going down,a light drying herbal note kept it from going down the drain.I have had other double pilsners and they had some character of a big pils this has none its a Euro strong lager in style and a not very good one at that,I do enjoy most of Terrapins beers though.

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Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of billab914
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Calton for sending me this one, it's one of the last things Terrapin has bottled that I haven't tried yet. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Terrapin glass. It poured a murky, brown/orange color with a thin off-white head barely covering the top of the beer.

The aroma shows mostly a sweet maltiness to it with some caramel and a candied orange like flavor as well. I get just a bit of some citrusy and piny hops coming through as well. I'm making an assumption that it was hoppier when fresh. It's still pretty good though, I get some barleywine similarities out if it at this point.

The taste also shows a big malty profile to it throughout the flavor. I get a good amount of caramel along with some of the candied fruit like flavors that were present in the aroma. They give it a bit of a orange or pineapple like presence in the flavor. The hops are pretty modest but give it some pine and citrus, as well as some needed bitterness, especially in the finish.

The mouthfeel is pretty heavy for the style but still below something like an average barleywine. Carbonation is on the lower side. Drinkability isn't bad, it had some nice malty, fruity, sweet flavors to it. It drank more like an American barleywine to me, which I didn't expect but actually liked. It would be tough to hold this to some of the pilsner style guidelines since it didn't seem to resemble that style at all. It doesn't seem like that was the intent so I'm not even going to try. Pretty decent beer overall.

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Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.96/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Clear, bright, golden-copper body with a thin, white head which deposited significant amounts of lacing on the way down.

Smell: Pale malts, slightly grainy, and with a light caramel scent. Floral, spicy, even citrus-packed hops arrive but soon yield to a background note of booze.

Taste: Pale maltiness with a touch of caramel sweetness. Ugh, there's that booze already. Spicy, floral, citrusy hops with a resounded bitterness which coasts along until well beyond the dry hop smack on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Somewhat sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: In all honesty, I've never been a fan of this beer, try as I might. The various components don't come together to form anything cohesive or really all that refreshing, as it is more than a chore to finish on a hot summer's day in Atlanta.

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Photo of duceswild
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bright pumpkin skin orange with a tendril of smoky sediment (since I got the entire bottle into the glass in one smooth pour). Backlighting with autumn morning sunshine reveals beautiful amber highlights and very few rising bubbles. The orange mousse-like cap is thickly creamy as it melts and does a credible job of glass decoration.

It seems as though I could smell more as the beer splashed into the glass than I can at the moment. This isn't a hop bomb in any way, shape or form. Sweet chunks of golden fruit (apricots primarily) along with a hint of alcohol are all that greet my nose with each deep inhale.

Since this is the 2007 Monster Beer Tour edition, and since it's barely five months old (by my best guess), I expected quite a bit more hoppiness than my palate is registering. Are we sure that Terrapin brewed this? The same Terrapin Beer Company that is responsible for some of the hoppiest, most delicious beer to come out of the South, or any other region of the country? Looks like they need to double the hop load at least.

All American Imperial Pilsner is the German-hopped equivalent of a not very hoppy, incredibly malty, sweeter than most... DIPA. The hop bill consists of Warrior, Mt. Hood, Santiam, Liberty and American Saaz (dry-hopped). Oranges and apricots in heavy syrup slide over the tongue and ooze through the mouth with each upending of the glass. This offering strikes me as big beer for big beer's sake. In the end, it doesn't work as well as I had hoped.

If you like big, gooey, barleywine-like mouthfeels, this one should be right in your wheelhouse. I like it just fine, but would still prefer the less luscious mouthfeel that would result from cutting the malt by 50% and jacking the hops up to the stratosphere. A quiescent carbonation only adds to the melted glass smoothness.

Terrapin All American Pilsner is my sixth Imperial pilsner. I'm sorry to report that it comes in fifth, ahead of only DFH Golden Era. The best versions (those from Boston Beer Company, Old Dominion and Clipper City) are those that interpret the style as 'hops, hops and still more hops'. I have every confidence that the boys from Athens will get this one right in the end.

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Photo of Jason
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with a foiled top, 2012 vintage on the label.

LOOK: Clear golden hue, wispy lacing

SMELL: Alcohol, hop resin, herbal, bready, biscuity, grass, lemon pith, tangerines, spicy

TASTE: Full hop jacket, smooth, slightly crisp, very noticeable booziness, shortbread maltiness, oily hop, ample bitterness, spicy, orange rind, spicy hop, fresh grass, hoppy drying finish

Glad to run into a hoppier American Impy Pils, I feel with this style if the hops are not there then you may as well call it a malt liquor. Damn good beer here.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

07 edition on tap at Barleys. Poured a nice light burnt amber with a nice big frothy head. Great head retention and a good bit of lace on the glass. Smell was lightly hopped, but full of grain and fruit notes, apricots maybe? Lots of malt. First taste impression was very smooth, lots of carbonation and a great light feel. Slight hint of alcohol, but hardly noticeable. A very nice strong cereal and malty grain presence. Enourmouslt enjoyable, drinkability is great, and I may have had a couple too many as a result. This was excellent and cant wait to do a vertical with last years.

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Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of malfunxion
3/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of jwc215
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into pilsner glass.

Pours golden yellow with a decent clarity and a thin white head that soon all but disappears. Very little lacing is left.

The first smell is of a sweet, apple-like fruitiness with citrusy hops in the background. Ok - not bad, not what I expected. It's also a bit thin.

The taste is of some vague hops and alcohol upfront. It's soon supported by a thick, sweet malt. After another sip or too, the sweet malt quickly takes over to run the show, with an alcoholic presence as the sidekick. Any hop presence only takes some of the edge off of the sweetness, but it still borders on cloying. Alcohol continues to interfere, even with the understanding that it has a high abv. I think I caught a glimpse of some earthy graininess, but it soon vanishes, if it were present at all. It lacks certain characteristics of a typical pilsner - very little grassy/hay, for example. The hops become all but lost in the mix of malt and alcohol. Very little in way of bitterness. Could use more balance. At times, something in it reminded me of a strong pale ale more than a double pilsner. Interested flavors, if unbalanced. But, it almost misses completely.

There is a creaminess in the feel, though it is on the lighter side of medium-bodied. Some oily slickness helps it go down, otherwise it would leave a heaviness despite its body. The alcoholic bite is not too bad only because it is a cool day in autumn, but - this is a summer release, and I don't know that the alcoholic notes really do anything than add a warming kick to it.

There is a rawness to this one. While the flavors are not bad, they don't always mix so well, and I am left wondering about it fitting the style. Bitterness is nearly not existant. Interesting, but nearly misses the mark on too many counts.

Thanks to SilentSabre for including a couple of these.

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Terrapin All American Imperial Pilsner from Terrapin Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 208 ratings
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