Terrapin Hop Karma IPA | Terrapin Beer Company

very good
1,009 Ratings
Terrapin Hop Karma IPATerrapin Hop Karma IPA

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

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.

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Reviews: 543 | Ratings: 1,009
Photo of Maxwell
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a ruby brown, and sits in the glass as dark brown, nearly black, with a huge rocky head of dirty yellow-brown bubbles that mellows into a half a fingers width of much smaller and smoother bubbles. In body, the beer is clean of particles with only a faint haze, while carbonation bubbles are weak and far between in rising up to the head. The beer leaves a slippery lacing that leaves thin sheets on the sides of the glass. On the nose, the beer smells of creamy caramel and brown sugar malts with hints of pancake syrup. On the fringes of the smell lingers a bubbling tingle of sweet citrus peel, but it is rather weak beside the big malt smell. On the tongue, the beer tastes bitter and then malty sweet with a nice mellowing mouth feel and bitter back bite. The flavors begin as light caramel, quickly building into roasted and toasted nutty flavors with a touch of syrup and brown sugar beside a light bitter tingling which builds into the finish. The finish is of bitter orange or grapefruit peel and aspirin flavors, mingling with the light malty roast. The finish does not last long. The aftertaste is of light citrus hops and slight roast flavors. In the mouth, the beer feels medium in body with a slight watery finish. Carbonation begins prickly and fierce but nicely mellows into a silky smoothness on the tongue. The mouth is left slightly damp with only a light hint of hoppy dryness. Overall, this is a nice American brown ale, but I do not see it as anything more than that. According to Terrapin, this is one of the first American dark “India” beers, so I will give it the benefit of the doubt and say it is just an older example of the style, but I do feel a little let down by the fact that it doesn’t have a big juicy hop smell like I was hoping for. This beer is tasty and interesting, and worth a try for any brown ale fans out there, but is a little disappointing to me and doesn’t really stand out to my palate.

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Photo of csparace
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance (4.00) - from a 12 oz bottle to a large snifter. huge 3 finger head that dissipates quickly. tons of carbonation with bubbles forming along the sides of the glass and large bubbles in the head. very dark red amber that doesn't let much light through. lacing is mediocre.

Smell (4.00) - warm dark hop with a sweet turn. smells like a dark beer. hints of chocolate and spices. slightly sharp to the nose.

Taste (3.75) - very smooth on the front with not a lot of hop crunch. dark roasted flavors are present but not a main component. coffee is also present but not overwhelming. a slightly disappointing lack of hops.

Mouthfeel (4.00) - for the size of the head and carbonation on the side, there isn't a ton of carbonation in the mouth. leaves the lips slightly sticky. very smooth overall thought. very drinkable.

Overall (4.00) - not quite what I was expecting but not really a disappointment. its a good dark IPA that has a decent amount of flavor going on. It leaves a bit to be desired in terms of hop content. Everything, including the drinkability, makes me see this as a great desert beer after a large meal.

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Photo of rangerred
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear darkish brown with a thick one finger light tan head. Amazing head retention and some nice globs of lacing on the glass. A really nice looking beer.

I find the aroma to be a little bit weak. Some mild citrus sneaking through with a little bit of pine along with a touch of coffee and roasted malt. There is a little citric tartness reminiscent of lime.

The taste thankfully has more going on than the aroma. Some cocoa and light roast marries nicely with mild pine and and some light citrus in the way of lemon and lime. Towards the end I can pick up more in the way of darker chocolate and cherries. Bitterness is on the mild side leading to a slightly sticky finish.

Overall, this is a nice beer that is a hoppy brown almost bordering on a light Black IPA. Not overly complex but a good easy-drinking beer.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle a little above fridge temp poured into a snifter. "Best if enjoyed by month 7 week 2"

Pours out a really dark brown, almost appears black. When held to the light a very nice clear deep ruby red can be seen. A nice one fingers worth of light tan colored head off the pour, settles to a nice retentive layer with some decent lacing.

Earthy hops, on the herbal, woody side. Hard to get much else, maybe a bit of toasted, caramel grain. Really not the most enjoyable aroma.

A better taste than the aroma suggests. Earthy, herbal, woody hops, maybe a bit of pine balanced by caramel, toasted grain, fairly sweet, finishes with more of a pale ale bitterness.

Definitely smooth and drinkable with a subtle carbonation.

A decent beer, but a bit more hops would have been appreciated. The few other brown IPAs I've had in the past were a bit better.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, red orange brown with a huge tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: earthy hops mixed with woody grains, pine, cedar

T: very malty and less bitter than expected, still has a major hop flavor, earthy, toasted bread, pine, nutty

M: medium bodied and slightly creamy, good carbonation

O: interesting hybrid style, malt and hops compete more than balance

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Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap selection at the Nashville Flying Saucer, Terrapin Night so it was on sale.
Arrived a clear, dark brown color with a thick, light tan head. Good foam retention and left some chhunky lacing on the glass. The aroma had some nice citrus and pine hoppiness, mixed with the roasted, dark malt. The taste is well balanced between the two styles. Some cocoa/chocolate and roasted, smoky malt sweetness. Mild pine and some light citrus hops give a good dose of bitterness. Overall, this was a nice beer that delivered just as advertised - a brown IPA.
I enjoy getting to try these hybrid styles.

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Photo of AmitC
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured form a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Best if enjoyed by 3rd week of July.

Color is dark brown with about one finger thick tan colored head with excellent retention. Super long. Very nice lacing on the sides as well. A bit of ruby hues in the light.

Aroma is a mix of some nutty caramel flavors. May be some roast. Some grounded dry hop aroma. A bit herbal. A good amount of hop presence. Overall strength is moderate.

Taste has a good amount of hop bitterness. A good mix of roasted brown malts, a bit of nuts and bitterness from hops. Provides a surprisingly complex taste.

Mouth feel is medium bodied. No hint of alcohol or warmth. Moderate carbonation. Nice piney and oily touch of an IPA.

Style Rate: 4.25
Personal Rate: 4.25

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Photo of ESeab
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very nice dark/clear brown. Thin than head

Smells roasty, nutty, slight hops

Taste is subtle with hop presence along with nutty and matly tastes

Mouthfeel is very thin on this, not really a fan

Overall this was an alright IBA. I definitely prefer DFH to this but I would drink this again.

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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 Jimmys
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into Flying Dog chalice. best before the 4th week of April.

A: great clarity on this brown body. head is on the brown side of white. retention is good. real good. some spotted lacing left behind.

S: nutty and bitter. sweet as well, a little bit of vanilla. a decent amount of things going on here. well-welcomed for sure.

T: similar to the nose, a little bit of bubblegum. bitterness from both some dark malt and a boatload of hops. lingering nutty flavor combines with more hop bitterness. nose and body rather similar on this brew.

M: average carb on a medium body.

D: terrapin has a good hoppy brown here. a lot of flavors and aromas battle it out with the end result being balance. worth checking out, especially if you are a fan of black ipa's.

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Photo of mscudder
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Served in a pint.

A - Pours a deep amber brown with a finger-plus ivory head. Fair retention and lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malts, mild hops and brown sugar. Faint components.

T - Starts with a slightly bitter hop presence and recedes into sweet caramel and brown sugar. Finishes dry and with a lingering bitterness.

M - Large light body with moderate carbonation.

O - Not a huge fan of this one. That said, rarely does Terrapin impress me.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got this in a beer trade with bradcochran1234.

Pours out a nice, deep red brown. 1/2 inch of tan head, not much lace.

Nice dark fruit, woody and sweet brown sugar. A bit of pine and grass as well.

Chocolate, burnt malts, grass and maybe rye. Some dry plum and a hint of citrus in the finish. Moderate body, little heavy on carbonation.

I wouldn't call it a brown ipa, but it is a nicely hopped brown ale. Pretty tasty beer in my opinion.

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Photo of Mojo
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle -> Dogfish Head glass

This beer pours up an amazing deep black with a beautiful two finger caramel colored head, awesome retention, and a seamless tapestry of delicate lacing. The nose is a little earthy and kind of cocoa mixed together. The taste is an interesting amalgam of maltiness, citrus and coffee. It shouldn't work well together but it does. Very interesting and quite tasty. The mouthfeel is sort of thick with a very mild coffee aftertaste. Love it!!!!

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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.

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Photo of Apostlebrews
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hop-Karma Brown IPA's aroma is full of roasty malts and something sweet--caramel, chocolate, and molasses maybe. I can also smell a hint of fresh hops, but I only detected it after I took a couple of sips. No doubt, the smell is overpowered by the malts and sugar notes.

The taste is far more complex than the smell. Sure, there are flavors of roasted malts, caramel, and molasses on the front end of the taste, but those flavors are quickly washed away with a citrus kick from the hops. The flavor finishes with a touch of bitterness and dryness, but leaves a unique after-taste that is very pleasant. There are echos of orange peels and chocolate flavors that linger--it is really quite enjoyable.

This is a well-balanced beer that has the best of all worlds. Hop-Karma Brown IPA is a beer that will please hop-heads and malt-bomb lovers alike. It's not too heavy and at just 6% ABV, it's not too dangerous either. There's not much to complain about with this one. It's a beer with which I could easily keep the fridge stocked.

Check out my other reviews at thebeerapostle.com and follow me on Twitter: @beerapostle

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Photo of NiceTaps
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a room temp pint glass.

A- Pours a coffee brown color with red hihglights. This pour resulted in a 2-finger mocha colored head that tapered slowly to a film. Lots of lacing, sticky rings. Now that I can see the dark roasted malts, let's find out more....

S- There's the roasted malt along with chocolate right away. Mix in a hint of floral and citrus hop aromas as well. That chocolate steps up as the beer warms.

T-Roasted malt and chocolate malt up front once again. The citrus hop flavor hangs back allowing malts to lead here. Maybe a touch of coffee backround, too.

M- Medium feel, good carbonation, and very easy drinking, Not heavy at all, probably thanks to its 6.0 abv and 65 ibus working well together. The hop tang lingers a bit on the finish but there's no doubt that this is a brown ale.

O- Well Done! Another fine Terrapin Beer offering. Ideal for this time of year.

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Photo of 08Deltadawn8
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this beer is great. the pour is nice and smooth and the color is a dark ruby red with a great head that last through duration. the aroma is of chocolate and nuts as well a floral hint, the taste is a cross between chocolate with alot of hops and grains. overall great beer in my opinion, little carbination so you can drink a few of them with getting full.

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Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Barcade, Jersey City, NJ

A: The beer is clear dark red in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high light beige head that took a long time to dissipate, leaving some patches of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of nutty and chocolate malts and herbal hops in the nose.
T; The taste has flavors of nutty malts with notes of roasted malts and hints of chocolate. There are also some notes of citrus and pine resin hops, which also contribute a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The hops also lend a bit of crispness.
O: This is an interesting hybrid of two styles. It's nice and malty like a brown ale but also delivers some hop flavors and bitterness.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a deep brown colored brew with a one finger white head. The head faded relatively fast to leave a light level of lacing.

Smell – A sweeter and roasty aroma are most prevalent. The sweet in the nose is of a caramel, light chocolate and molasses smell, with the roasted noted being of a brown bread nature with a note of coffee. Overall, it is a lighter but pleasant aroma none the less.

Taste- A roasted malt and more herbal hop flavor greet the tongue. These are complimented by a lighter chocolate and molasses flavor. The sweetness grows in strength toward the middle of the taste as flavors of caramel join the molasses and chocolate flavor initially present. As the flavor advances further toward the end some bitter hop notes of an earthy and grapefruit citrus come to the taste and leave a semi-sweet flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the lighter to medium side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is just a tad above average. It is a little to light in body and too high in carbonation for the dark and chocolate flavors. With this said though it is by no means bad.

Overall – A pretty easy drinking brew with a decent blend between hop, roast, and sweet. All are somewhat subdued, but in concert, they work fairly well.

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Photo of duceswild
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra from sendbeer.
12oz bottle poured into a SA Perfect Pint glass.

Two fingers of head that goes down rather quickly leaving lacing throughout the glass. Smell is of malt, faint hops, and faint chocolate. I also get a little mustiness to this, but not in a bad way. Taste is of caramel, malt, and hops with chocolate and coffee on the back end. Mouthfeel is okay. I get a good amount of carbonation, but it also feels somewhat thin.

Overall this is a tasty beer that I would be open to drinking again.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big light brown head slowly settles into a pretty nice lacing above a clear burnt amber red colored beer.

Roasted caramel malt with molasses and a hint of alcohol aroma.

A creamy roasted malts, light molasses, and almost a sweet chocolate taste.

A dry aftertaste with some of the light chocolate and molasses tastes sticking around on this medium to full bodied beer.

A lot of tastes going on within the confines of this glass, get yourself a couple of these.

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Photo of kingjames1
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nut brown from the bottle with a thin head. Smell is rich - coffee, chocolate, and dark cherries. Tastes like a rich, almost porter-like brown ale up front, rich and dark, and is quickly followed by hoppy bitterness chasing it. With the hops, there is a citrus element that I can't decided if I like with brown ale, or love. I've had a few black ipa's, but this is probably the best to date. Delicious!

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Photo of WankelEngine
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a mostly opaque, ruddy brown color. There is a small tan head which fades to a thin cap and ring of foam.

S: This is a malty smelling beer. Chocolate, roasted notes and a little bit of sweet molasses. There is a little bit of fruit here as well, followed by light notes of pine.

T: Hops are much more prominent in the flavor than the aroma. Pine and herbal grass cuttings are fairly prominent. Although the hops are notable, the malt is still a driving force. Chocolate biscuit, caramel, molasses and even some brewed coffee. Fruit flavor is very mild and tropical, but does a good deal to add some depth. Finish is pine and bitter chocolate.

M: Medium bodied and slightly sticky. Carbonation is moderate and fizzy.

O: Most combination beers tend to lean much more towards one style or the other. I think this beer actually finds a very good balance, with the chocolate and brown malt of a brown ale, and the pine and fruit hops of an IPA.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pouring a cellar temp bottle into a snifter. The beer pours a rich cola brown hue with fluffy tan head foaming up 3 cm even with a gentle pour.
The head fades very slowly leaving some windowpane lattice on the sides of the glass and a robust surface layer that remains through much of the sampling.
Aroma is roasted malt and light chocolate with a bit of grassy hops and a bit of bready yeast scent mixed in for good measure.
First sip reveals a smooth silky textured brew with soft and mild carbonation.
FLavor is roasted malt and dry baker's chocolate which rolls to grassy and vegetal hops. Finishes fairly dry and with a bit of bitterness lingering on my palate.
I dont find any booze anywhere on this brew.
Very easy to drink and enjoyable beer. Not overwhelmingly robust in any category but solid in all. Worth a purchase if you see it.

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the nose I get chocolate and espresso predominantly, with a slight citrus (sweet orange) bite on the end.

Great looking glass of beer! Its darker than expected, almost black, with ruby highlights when held to light. The head is a light tan color made of larger bubbles and laces very nicely.

A bit bitter upfront but the mid-palate brings this chocolate-like flavor witha bit of roast that lasts through the finish. A bit of a grassy/floral note is detected mid way through as well. A pleasant experience.

Medium-highly carbonated with a moderate body make this beer fairly easy to drink. Not quite sessionalbe, but it tastes great!

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Terrapin Hop Karma IPA from Terrapin Beer Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,009 ratings.
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