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Terrapin Hop Karma IPA | Terrapin Beer Company

very good
543 Reviews
Terrapin Hop Karma IPATerrapin Hop Karma IPA

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

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
"The Terrapin Hop Karma IPA (formerly known as the India Style Brown Ale) is a head on collision between a hoppy, west coast IPA and a complex, malty brown ale. Brewed with 5 varieties of hops and 7 different malts, this hybrid style represents the best of both worlds." 65 IBU

Added by athensbeermaster on 04-02-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 543 | Ratings: 1,008
Photo of MapleSyrup
2.1/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

This beer is one confused beer and has too many things going on. I was totally disappointed in the taste and it being a Brown IPA?? No medium body and no fresh taste, rather coffee chocolate and hogwash. Too much hype and zero drinkability. Never been a fan of Terrapin and this offering makes it worse. Two thumbs down.

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Photo of WeezyBoPeep
2.3/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Clear, super dark amber with a reddish hue and a foamy, thick beige head. Good lacing.

S: Steely, dark citrus hops and malt, a metallic, fishy undertone. Notes of soy sauce.

T: Earthy, dirty and bitter with no sweetness at all. Dry with a pale finish. A wierd mixture of a rich, brown ale and an IPA. Interesting concept, but doesn't work for me.

D: A taster for me.

Value: 9 to 10 bucks a sixer. Ehhh...

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Photo of alcstradamus
2.48/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes

Cola brown pour, fairly small head. Big caramel and cola sweetness in the nose with some earthy hops and a weird spoiled milk characteristic.

Taste is kind of a watery mess...some toasted malts and hops but nothing really prominent, and that odd spoiled milk returns in the background. Some ash and charred oak. Not really good at all.

Mouthfeel is normal for the style, but this is quite simply a drain pour for me. Not horrible I guess, but definitely far below average.

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Photo of AdamBear
2.55/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A-dark brown, not quite black with a thick tan head. there's a nice lacing that stays.

S-smells like milk chocolate possibly with a slight bitterness to it, yes definitely, the hops come in late. its a fairly weak smell.

T-comes in with bitter low quality chocolate malts. its a very subtle hit besides the bitterness. the after-taste seems to be a little better with milk chocolate and dark malts as the back bone. this taste is a very mediocre, forgettable experience. it is very unimpressive.

M-real low carbonation with a slightly watery finish. its quite tangy as well.

D-after a few sips, i knew my glass wasn't going to empty any time soon, its just not an enjoyable beer. there really isn't any good tastes or qualities to grab a hold of. its definitely not a beer i could drink all night and its definitely not a beer i ever want again.

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Photo of oline73
2.66/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany color with some light passing through. There is a two finger tan head that leaves a little lacing.

Smell: Very sweet and bready, like malt syrup. There is some citrus hops and a hint of grape in the sweetness.

Taste: This tastes more bitter than it smells, but it is still too sweet. The sweetness is from bready malt and again there is a hint of grape. The bitterness comes from citrus peel hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and mildly dry. The complaint here is that is feels a bit grainy on the tongue.

Drinkability: I really think this one is too sweet to call is a brown IPA. The grainy part of the mouthfeel also didn't sit well with me. I don't think I'll come back again.

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Photo of mentor
2.76/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to GCBrewingCo for the opportunity. Pours a four finger oranged-tan head over a hazed oranged-dark brown liquid. Smells piney hops. Way underneath is some chocolate malt, vanilla, and grassy.

Tastes piney hops. Soured hop flavor. Coffee bitterness and grapefruit pithy. Soured caramel. Fairly simple profile. Bitter is relatively clean of grassy cohumulone. The hop piney and chocolate malt don't work very well together. I've had this combination before and whoever thought of this combination needs to be removed from office. Drying finish with some alcohol sting.

Md body with some creamy and dextrinous character. Medium carbonation and not very drinkable.

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Photo of regspeir
2.8/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Seving - on tap @ New Wave in Philadelphia.
Pours a dark clear reddish-brown with a 1/2" white head, little lacing. Strong carbonation is immediately evident.
The nose is caramel, chocolate and some roasted grain.
Mouthfeel is thin and oily.
Taste: Hops up front with brown sugar, caramel, roasted coffee. Considerable bitterness in the finish.
Terrapin says this beer is "head on collision between a hoppy, west coast IPA and a complex, malty brown ale." For me, yeah, a car wreck is not off the mark. The tastes don't seem to balance or compliment at all. Not an awful beer but not one I care to try again.

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Photo of Augustiner719
2.86/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Ommegang tulip.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark, yet crystal clear brown color with a big fluffy off white head. Almost cola like body, very dark. The head receded quickly and left little lacing.

Smell: Smells a bit like RC cola with some molasses and brown sugar added. A bit sickly sweet and off putting.

Taste: Tastes a bit off too. Disjointed brown sugar and caramel met with a bitter tanic malty body that was thin and unappealing. Overall it was not anything spectacular. The flavors were there, but they didnt meld well. Off balanced hoppiness on the finish that is bitter and tastes like an afterthought.

Mouthfeel: overcarbonated mess. I didnt get that silky texture from some of the other brown ales. Newcastle is better than this shit.

Drinkability: Not the worst beer by any means, but when compared to the heavy hitters and regulars in the brown ale category, this is not good. Over carbonated, off balanced flavors and weird off balanced bitterness and hops give this an average rating at best.

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Photo of DaveBlack
2.92/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Dark brown with a light tan head which fades quickly leaving some light lacing

S: Not getting too much of the IPA in this brown IPA. Roasty, malty, and sweet.

T: Starts off pretty sweet with hints of coffee, but as the initial brown ale flavor fades the bitter background flavor comes to the front and it is not nearly as good as the first taste. Also, the aftertaste lingers and is relatively unpleasant.

M: Feels fairly sticky and heavy overall, though the carbonation keeps it from being too oppressive.

D: It goes down pretty easily. But I wouldn't seek it out.

Definitely has aspects of both the IPA and brown ale styles, slightly favoring the brown ale. Maybe I'm just not a fan of brown IPAs but this beer seems out of balance: A good brown ale spoiled by bitterness.

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2.95/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with a best by date of 01/09.

A standard pour in to a 16 oz. Imperial pint glass produced a slim, 1 finger coffee colored head. Chestnut brown with a warm, pomegranate glow when back lit.

S ~ Sweet roasted malts, grapefruit rind, dark rye bread, fresh cut grass, coffee.

T ~ Floral hops first - up front, tobacco, bitter coffee & roasted malts, toasted rye bread, citrus rind. Hard to separate...

M ~ Good carbonation with a lighter, uninspiring body. Sharp, dry finish with a lingering bitterness.

D ~ Probably a session beer for someone who appreciates this hoppy, hybrid style. A little bit confusing for me...the bottle says "A collision between a hoppy West Coast IPA & a malty English Brown Ale." More like a fender bender.

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Photo of OhYesILoveBeer
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First off let me say that this beer is falsely advertised as being a Brown IPA. Terrapin's Hop Karma, from a 12oz bottle into Weyerbacher tulip. Pours very dark, almost black in the dim light with minor ruby hues along the sides. Vigorous pours yields a very small 1/4" head that dissipates quickly with no lacing. Smells of roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, and a bit of earthy hop. Tastes as the nose indicates, standard American brown here, nothing fancy. Overall I'm really not too impressed with this offering. I should have went with instincts and grabbed my usual Red Brick brown ale, seeing as theirs blows this out of the water. If your looking for a good ABA with more IBU's than the regular's, grab Red Brick's offering, you'll thank me later. Cheers!

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours bright garnet brown with a carpet of cappuccino foam, almost like a porter. Kola, orange and earth on the nose. Tar, sour grain and soil up front with orange spice hops and an herbal liqueur sting. Sour grain tang on the finish, too, and a tingly linger. Thin, fizzy, clingy, and burning.

Is Terrapin a good brewery at all? This is the 2nd beer of theirs I've had that's fallen far below expectations/reputation.

Looks great, the flavors are off, but the body is the real foul. A nasty, cloying, flat rum + coke of a brown ale, one to skip.

*from notes, Nov. 2010

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle poured in a snifter.

Pours a dark brown, very Coffee like in appearance with no head, just a little lacing.

Sweet malty nose, I'm thinking a brown ale. On the taste, it is very much like a porter or light stout. Mouthfeel is pretty light and smooth. There really isn't much of a IPA taste to it, I feel like it's just a good brown ale not so much and IBA as they call it.

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Photo of witster18
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

INteresting combo of a brown ale and an ipa. Think IPA with nuts. This pours dark copper/ nearly-translucent brown and has a small head, small bubbles, and the head disspates rather quickly.

The taste up fron is pure IPA... almost double ipa territory as this one gets a wee bit boozy. I've tasted far smoother 6 percenters, but there is good flavor here.

Grapefruit, Nuts, slight choco.

This is a well crafted beer, but I won't be drinking another. The clash of styles is a clash in my mouth, and the boozyness is just a bit too much. An Elliot Ness @ 6.2 is far more drinkable. The carbonation, style clash, and boozy finish make this a pass for me.

Proof a couple of really good beers don't make one good one.

nice try though.

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Photo of PhxHorn
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a brown color with a reddish tinge to it, with a quarter inch of tan head. Smells of malt. Taste was a bit of a problem--it had the malty flavor you'd expect from a brown ale, but also a slightly sour taste in there. Didn't really detect the hoppy flavors people are talking about. Very bitter aspirin aftertaste. The sour flavor really ruined it for me. Not a disaster, but something was out of whack.

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Photo of samie85
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from noted; originally 8/20/10.

A-Pours a slightly hazy chestnut color with a half finger white head.

S-Smells of biscuity, typical brown ale malt notes with some piney and grapefruit notes.

T-Bitter piney hops with a deep, biscuity malt backbone.

M-Dry mouthfeel with medium body and low carbonation.

D-Not as bitter or hoppy I expected a Brown IPA to be.

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Photo of Risser09
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter - fridge - best by 1st week, 3rd month

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with no highlights or imminent carbonation. A 1/2" light brown, coffee ice cream colored head is built and shows decent retention. Rings of lace remain behind.

Smell: Generous hops consist of grapefruit and pine in front of a malty brown ale. An earthiness is probably due to the mixture of both bitter and malt sweetness.

Taste: Bitter pine and an earthy truffle taste. Brown, slightly roasted caramel malts give a bipolar taste to the beer. Mixed emotions about this flavor.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and sweet, though the beer mostly relies on bitterness for its notice ability. Medium body, smooth, with good carbonation. Earthy.

Drinkability: An okay brew. There is so much going on that creates a dichotomy of flavors. The earthiness is distracting from what could have been an awesome beer.

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Photo of orcasteve
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

this was a great idea in prinsaple but dosent quite work in reality, i like the hoopy aftertaste and i like the heavy brown malt flavor but i am not fond of the middle of the beer ware one flavor ends and the outher starts. this is to carbonated for a brown. but their is a great amount of hops, that is this beers best quality

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Photo of julian
3.17/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark mahogany in color, very clear when held up to the light. Nice frothy lasting tan head. Some sticky lacing too.

S: Dark malts, mildly fruity, maybe a little spice? I don't know, nothing impressive here. Lacking in the roast/chocolate aroma dept. almost smells like a mild barley wine.

T: Good hop presence, but the sweetness from the malts seem to be a bit more present. slightly unbalanced. This smells and tastes like a mild barley wine. It's not bad but not quite a brown ale. Could use more roast/chocolate and more bittering hops.

M: Light, refreshing, finishes clean.

O: Not quite my idea of a brown ale. A little unbalanced, but surprisingly in the wrong direction. Considering it's named "hop karma", I would have assumed for even more bittering than a traditional brown ale, but this was unfortunately lacking. It's got a good mouthfeel, and overall the taste is good, but the recipe needs some tweaks to be truly great. DFH Indian Brown Ale is for instance a much better example of the style.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Since this is an Indian Brown ale, perhaps we are witnessing the emergence of an new style. Hoppier than a brown ale, more roasted malts than an IPA. Interesting to see where these IPA incarnations take us. Beer is dark brown, head is two fingers, brown and has medium bubbles. Carbonation is moderate and the head leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is hoppy with an odd sulfurish component in with the malt. The hops are more citrus hops than piney, its subtle.

The taste is slightly metallic and there is that sulfur character again. Not as good as I remember. The bottle does not have a "best if consumed by" date on it, so this could be an old batch. I'm not sure what to say, sorry Terrapin. The drinkability suffers because of the unpleasant flavors. The mouthfeel is full and good, I just wish that off-flavor wasn't present. I'll give this beer another chance, but as it stands now, its only mediocre. Sorry.

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Photo of Amish_Ambush
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Ruby red ale. Medium head. Nice thick lacing.

Smell: Brown malt smell. Slight grapefruit

Taste: An IPA/Brown ale. I am having trouble marrying the two. Earthy verses hoppy... I should like this but I just find it meh. Maybe I'm the problem and I need to revisit this another time.

 294 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to hopdog for sharing the hand bottled, half liter growler...
Appears a semi-transparent amber with a small beige head that fades into a mild film and soapy collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of light tartness, mild yeast, light citrus, and a touch of caramelized grain.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a lemongrass flavor coming through with other notes of citrus.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, yeasty, hoppy, and bitter.

 468 characters

Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks more like a stout than any IPA I've had - very dark with a thin tan head. The scent was promising - smelled a bit like fresh peaches to me - but the taste was a bit of a letdown. Malts give a bready flavor up front followed by floral flavor from the hops, and a slight tart grapefruit in the aftertaste. To be fair, it is well balanced, but not a taste that I find particularly appealing. I did like it a bit more as I drank it and it warmed a little. But not a beer I'd seek out again.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish-brown body with a creamy, light tan head.

Smell: Aroma of toasted nuts and caramel with just a smidgen of chocolate. Hops impart mostly citrus notes with some pine and a light grassiness in there as well.

Taste: Earthy malt flavor of toasted nuts and caramel. More pine showing in the taste, with citrus and fresh-cut grass taking a backseat. Plenty of bitterness in the dry, lightly chocolaty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Just a touch watery.

Drinkability: Its alright.

 540 characters

Photo of corby112
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate chestnut brown color with slight amber edges when held to a light source and a foamy yellowish tan head. Good retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves sporadic spots of lacing.

Chocolate caramel malt aroma with a huge earthy hop presence. Hints of dry earthy pine with lots of dank resinous hop oil. There's also some hazelnut and caramel biscuit malts.

Very well balanced and quaffable but slightly watered down thin body. Nutty malt presence with hints of biscuit and caramel that balance out the earthy bitter hops. This beer may be a bit too well balanced because the earthy hops and dry pine notes are a bit overshadowed by the nutty malt flavors. Neither flavor is dominant resulting in an average session beer.

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Terrapin Hop Karma IPA from Terrapin Beer Company
88 out of 100 based on 543 ratings.
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