Terrapin All American Imperial Pilsner | Terrapin Beer Company

149 Reviews
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.

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Reviews: 149 | Ratings: 208
Photo of SchmoTerp
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One good beer from a terrific Southern brewery. This lager has a distinct taste and one that stays pleasantly - not bitterly - with you for a little while. But do not mistake, you get a good blast of taste as soon as it hits your lips. I look forward to each summer when they release their latest batch and save it for as long as I can. The one I'm drinking now is my last for 2007.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into Troegs Hopback glass on 3/11/08. Thanks to Deuane for picking this up for me!

A - Very cloudy, gritty-looking orange body with thin, white head that quickly receded into a whispy film. Plenty of active carbonation and some floaters as well. Not much lacing to report.

S - Doughy/bready malt with plenty of citrus in the nose, especially orange. Hops are primarily perfumy with a more restrained hop nose, probably since this is a 2006 release. Some mild floral notes as well.

T - Taste is mainly perfumy and floral with a touch of citrus flavor as well. Plenty of malt to counter the hops, but the flavor is ultimately less discernable than the hop profile.

M - Creamy texture with a bit of heat that coats the palate. Carbonation is right where it needs to be - provides a mild tickle on the tongue but it's not overbearing. Finish is warm and moderately bitter, but not as big as other imperial pilsners I've had in the past. Some residual stickiness from the hops.

D - Pretty mellow for an imperial pilsner, but quite tasty nevertheless. Imparts a pleasing stickiness and warm mouthfeel wth plenty of citrus flavor. Alcohol is well-concealed. I prefer standard Euro pilsners, but these are nice from time to time.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.02/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Cloudy dark orange/amber color. Thin foamy head on top.

S - Did not hit me as very nice. Almost had a whiskey smell to it with some sour aromas as well.

T - Citrusy taste up front and the alcohol came through at the end. The first sip didnt taste too great but it improved as I drank it.

M/D - Oily and little carbonation. When I started drinking it I was questioning if I would even finish, but by the time I did I was ready for one more.

The first time I tried this style and I wasnt a huge fan, but, like I said, it did grow on me as I drank it. An interesting brew from one of my favorites southern breweries.

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

2007 bottling.

This beer looks very nice, just not much like a Pilsner. It's a cloudy red in color with a nice off-white head. I was expecting a more yellow-to-golden colored beer that's clear. But hey, that's just being picky.

It has an interesting aroma. It's quite light and smells vaguely of soy sauce.

It tastes hoppy: of herbs and vegetables, with a bread-like sweetness and a bit of bitterness in the swallow.

The body is slick and full.

Overall a pretty good example of the style and worth trying once. Not worth seeking out, however. I like Sam Adams take better.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass the liquid is a pure gold with good carbonation. The head to a nice 2 fingers off white and leaves some lace.

The smell is plenty hoppy, with a fruit syrupy aroma.

The taste follows, lots of crisp hops, couples with a thick fruity base, includes pear and apricots.

The mouthfeel is big thick with good carbonation.

The drinkability is good for the style that is a bit odd but seems to be catching on.

Prosit, MK

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Photo of McDiddyPop
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a deep red/copper color with a bit of cloudiness. It left a two-finger head of creamy off-white foam that slowly diminished into a small ring, leaving lacing along the glass. It smelled surprisingly sweet, as I am used to overwhelming hops shining through in an imperial pilsner. Sweet bready malt was at the forefront of the taste, with a small amount of dry hop bitterness in the finish. The alcohol was hidden well, but the taste didn't do it for me. It had a good feel, coating my mouth with a sticky sweet flavor. I am glad to have tried this one, but I won't put it on any top ten lists.

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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 jslot38
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A cloudy, tawny light orange body with a bubbly top covering, off white coloured head. Looks like it will have some nice lacing.

Smell: A mixture of hops and caramel. Has a very distinct sweet smell that I can't really put my finger on. Different, certainly.

Taste: The smell carries right over to the flavour. All in all this reminds me of our first homebrew... I know thats not a compliment, but its like the wort after the first boil. A mixture of caramel, orange, and... well... wort. Hops are there, and come off as a mixture of orange zest and a bit of floral.

Mouthfeel: Nice level of carbonation, and balances well on the tongue.

Drinkability: The alcohol pokes through, which is to be expected from an 8% brew, but its not overwhelming. An interesting beer all around, but not something I would run back to right away. Would have liked to have seen a bit more of a hop presence.

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy amberish orange with golden hues like a rich natural honey. Head is 1 finger of yellowish white foam and leaves nice lacing all the way down and a nice film on the surface for the duration of the drink.

S- Oranges are strong. Very citrusy hops, maybe Amarillo is in there? Not sure, but seems familiar of those. I can get the corriander scent that some folks talked about, but oranges override anything else.

T- Hoppy as hell with the same orange citrus tastes. Light caramel malt backbone. Alcohol is there on the back, but still finishes sweet.

M- Oily and sticky on the tongue. Carbonation is somewhat low.

D- Hoppy beers are not great for sessioning for some, but this one seems great for a stand alone.

Overall- This one is a hop bomb for sure. I am a hop head, so I really enjoyed it. I found it very different than most I have had. This is my first brew of this style, so it was all new to me in that respect. I think it is well crafted and will definitely drink another one soon.

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Photo of timericka
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First time having Terrapin after several people recommended.

Imperial Pilsner was a hazy orange/red. Head was a dense but thin layer that dissipated pretty quick but left some traces. Smell was of hops and burnt orange. I tried to smell coriander that another person put didn't get it. Smell was intense and almost to much of the orange. Flavor was more of the orange but with some caramel sweetness. Mouthfeel was pretty good but nothing special. Overall I like the beer but not as much as I let expectations build to.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle given to me by shivtim. Pours a cloudy orange color(with touches of redness) with a thin light white head. Odors of orange rind, pungent malt, fermented tangerines and coriander. Taste is aggressive and very bitter. Large, fermented overripe orange flavor with a strong malt and ethanol backbone. Malt is tangy and sweet. Full bodied and sticky. This one gets the imperial pilsner thing right, or at least as right as i can imagine it getting. They've supercharged the pilsner style without it being just an overwhelming ethanol mess. Good example of the "extreme-ing" of a beer.

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

Big thanks to mikesgroove for sending this as part of JBIF!
This one poured a slightly hazy orange colour with soapy beige foam that left some chunky lacing behind. The aroma was a lot of caramel and spicy hops, a bit floral with some fresh grain character. Moderate bitterness and lots of caramel in the flavour. Spicy hops dominated at the start, but gave way to orange and then floral notes in the finish. Medium bodied with lowish carbonation. Some creaminess in the texture and warming at the finish. Definitely interesting, but there was a lot more caramel than I expected in a big pilsner, which seemed to reduce the hop impact.

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Photo of Dansting
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear golden color with a thick white head. Nice lacing. Aroma is sweet and fruity. Really nice mouthfeel. Flavor is really sweet, with an almost cider-like taste to it. Alcohol present in the aftertaste. I'm usually not a fan of these imperial pilseners, but this one is pretty nice.

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Photo of bboven
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Organic apple juice body with a thin head that lasts a long while with pretty good lacing.

Very sweet malt aroma with full but nondescript hops and noticeable alcohol.

Really really sweet even for this new style. The bitterness of the hops definitely help out at the end to keep it from being super-sweet. Too much unfermented sugar in this one, or not enough floral/aroma hops to balance that malt out.

Mouthfeel could use a bit more carbonation, a little too sticky for a 'Fourth of July' beverage.

It's a good beer but I don't think I'd enjoy it in the summer. You get this really cold on a chilly fall day, though, and I think that would be the ticket.

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Photo of Talisker
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured Nov-07, "Monster Beer Tour 2007", freshness date "Vintage 2007".

Very much like the Heavy Seas Ueber Pils, but not quite as good. This is a malty monster, not a hop bomb like the 2007 Imperial Pilsner from Sam Adams.

Pours a rich yellow, orange highlights. Not much head. Smells like baking sweet bread, but a slight mustiness gets in the way. Taste is pretty well integrated, mostly sweet malt, like smelling a mashtun, but a very faint underlying off-flavor that takes away just a bit. Hops are present, but not remotely the showcase. Not as creamy as the Heavy Seas rendition of the style, more like Moonlight's Reality Czech (my standard-bearer for strange Pilsner renditions). Certainly merits another drink, although the unmasked alcohol shows up at the very end, giving you the slightest disincentive to keep drinking.

My review makes this beer sound less good than it is. I would happily drink it again, but with the Sam Adams 2007 around for the hoppy rendition, and Moonlight's Reality Czech available for a hop-forward balance, Terrapin's rendition wouldn't climb quite to the top of my list. Maybe more hops, less alcohol, then we've got a definitive winner.

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

"Big Beer Tour 2007"

A: Pour yields a half-finger of tightly-bubbled, white head and the beer is an orange hue with a miniscule haze. Head displayed an adequate hang-time, so to speak.

S: Hops smell spicy and floral, with a rather sweet malt aroma that seems to overpower the other notes in the bouquet. Actually, the scent is rather similar to an Old Ale in its sweet, slightly alcoholic nature.

T: The taste definitely has that same Old Ale quality to it, only to a lesser degree. Hops have obviously been ramped up here, but the sweet malt base has been more so. Still, I prefer this aspect because it helps to keep the flavors in perspective, rather than dominate with just one. While it leans to the sweet side a bit, the finish is grassy and spicy from the hop presence.

M: Appropriate level of carbonation, and it makes for a creamy texture on the tongue. As far as "Imperial" Pilsners go, I'm not really sure if the creamy aspect is adhering to something about it being "Imperial" or if it's just an interpretation. This is not characteristic of a regular pilsner, but still, it works here.

D: Rather drinkable, but overall not an amazing offering. While I enjoy the bit of complexity and balance, I'm not crazy about the taste in general. More drinkable than expected from the "Imperial" moniker, but then again, what does that truly mean?

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Photo of YonderWanderer
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bold orange with hints of amber. A one finger head caps it off and some solid lacing is left on the glass.

S: A lot of fruits and sweetness to this one. Some citrus fruits in there most definitely... but not in the manner of heavily hopped IPAs that I'm accustomed to. Quite interesting.

T:Sweet with some hints of fruit. A nice big malt backbone has some light hops notes dancing around on top of it. Not as hoppy as I'd like, but still tasty. I would have expected a bit more, but I'm still not that disappointed.

M: Smooth, a little bit of viscosity to the brew, but not syrupy in any kind of way. A nice crisp finish.

D: This is a pretty good pilsner - very tasty. However, I would have expected more hops. My standard for imperial pilsners this year is far and away the Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner. This is a nice take on the style though.

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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 weeare138
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at Blackwater Brews in SC...
Appears a transparent, dark gold with a silky white head that slowly fades out into a mild cap. Plenty of streaky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of malt, corn, wet hay, cornbread, brown sugar, yeasty dough, and citrus.
Flavors are that of the aromas with some brown sugar, and caramel making there presence known but still being buried by the wet hay, and cornbread.
Mouthfeel is yeasty, medium bodied, dry with a somewhat hot finish of booze.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear semi-orange, amber pour. Bright. Nice foaming head, a bit soapy, but good lacing.
Aroma is mostly biscuit and malt, but a slight citrus from some hops makes me anticipate some crispness and refreshment. I"m not a malt guy so pilsners in general are about as malty as I get.
Taste follows the nose. Founded in malt, slightly toasted. The hops give this beer a floral appeal, some citrus. Real nice pilsner. I'll keep an eye out for this one.

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

Golden orange pour into my Sam Adams pint glass. Smallish white head which doesn't stick around very long. Some lacing on the glass.
Sweet fruit mixed with citrus in the aroma.
Nice mixture of sweet malt with a big shot of hop bitterness in the flavor. One of the hoppier imperial pilsners I've encountered.
There is a nice bit of carbonation in here and some coating of the mouth. Mouthfeel gets a little fuller as the beer is warming.
This one goes down pretty easy. I'm not sure I could do more than a couple in a night because of the abv.
An enjoyable example of a style that is really becoming one of my favorites.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from stopbarking and tpd975, thanks guys!

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a nice clear light copper hue with a fluffy two finger white head that dies down to a good layer. Stickiness is pretty good, spotty lacing here and there. Smell is of oily hops and strong sweet honey. A good caramel punch blends in well with some grassy tones as well. Some alcohol can be detected too, strong scent coming from this one. Taste is a creamy grassy hop flavor up front followed by a slick caramel malt. Alcohol flavor is a bit much, but could be worse. Aftertaste is kinda blah. Somewhat sweet butter like flavor lingers on the tongue which isn't very enjoyable. Mouthfeel is a slick medium body with a mild amount of carbonation. Very different from the Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner. Terrapin is less hoppy and more malt. Unique beer for sure, give it a shot if you get the chance.

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Photo of Vancer
4.55/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Holy crap, was this a good beer from the 2006 series – sent by limesmut in a nice trade!

Poured a study lite amber with a 1” ivory head in my, of course, tall pilsner glass. Left a blanket of lace all the way down, very impressive.

Then the aroma, and the quaff, were a surprising experience – barley wine type sweet caramel and malt! I could drink this brew all day and night (slowly, of course). Full and rich, there was no hint of this clocking in at 8%. I tried to sip this bottle, but the SOB was gone in 10 minutes! Damn it!

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Photo of tpd975
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice murky orange color with a nice little head.

S: Nice sweet citrus aroma. I can pick out grapefruit and orange zest in the nose. There is a cotton candy like sweetness in the background which pulls it all together.

T: Where this beer shines is in the taste. Nice sweet caramel flavor with hints of cane sugar. There is some zip in the finish coming out mostly in the flavor of grapefruit.

M: It finishes crisp and clean with a hint of bite from the hops.

D: Very drinkable, wish this one would come by the bomber.

Overall: A great drinking brew and another great offering by Terrapin. I love the sweetness in this one and the ABV is masked nicely. There is a nice malt character in the background holding it all together while letting the hops come forward and shine. This truely is an American style Pils. It is nothing like a traditional Pilsner. It's an aggressive American version of a wonderful traditional style.

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

Had this at the Emerald Coast Brew Fest in Pensacola, FL. Poured a golden yellow almost orangey color. White head did not last long. Aroma and Flavor are both malty with a bit of hop bite in the finish. Hides the 8% ABV extremely well. Decent lacing on glass. I liked it.

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Terrapin All American Imperial Pilsner from Terrapin Beer Company
3.68 out of 5 based on 208 ratings.
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