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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Ratings: 1,009 |  Reviews: 544
Photo of aasher
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish head Pilsner glass fresh out of the refrigerator.

Appearance: Transparent while featuring a light brown hue. Good carbonation, bubbling throughout. Slight, creme colored head.

Smell: Smelled just like a typical IPA. Had hoppy scent but was not very strong. Not overpowering in one direction or another.

Taste: Suprisingly complete taste. It combined the IPA taste with the taste of a Brown Ale quite well. It seemed as almost a 50/50 split in the flavors. The brown ale came through a little more in the after taste.

Mouthfeel: Good mouthfeel. Carbonation led to slight tingling on the tongue. Wasn't overly smooth but wasn't harsh by any means. Pretty standard of Terrapin.

Drinkability: More drinkable than I originally thought. It was an excellent combination of the hoppiness of an IPA and featured the Brown ale flavor in a mellow manner. I don't think I'd buy a six pack but I would recommend this to anyone picking up some single bottles or finds this on tap.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Beautiful, exceptionally deep black-walnut hue with a big rocky tan head and tons of splattered lace

S - A good (and familiar) nose initially. Dank citric-hoppy aromas abound, with a slight vegetal nuance as well. At first it has the nose of an IPA/DIPA, certainly, despite the very different appearance. Once you start drinking it, it begins to smell much less like an IPA, and the vegetal and previously undetected peat-y aromas begin to aggressively assert themselves.

T - The basic brown ale is there, despite the accompanying hoppiness; the roasted and chalky brownness cannot be transformed by mere hops, apparently. I don't like 'Brown Ale', in general, so that aspect is not greatly appreciated by this reviewer. If you are into IPA and Brown Ale, this will be right up your alley, though. Everything in the smell and taste is pleasant, balanced, and welcome, except perhaps the vegetal nuances, which get a bit cabbage-y. It is basically exactly what it is billed as: Brown Ale with so much hop flavor imparted that it smells and somewhat tastes reminiscent of IPA. And as such, it is quite successful.

M - The feel is about average; well-carbonated and medium-bodied, but a tad slick.

D - For some strange reason, when I go for an IPA, I want it to be in the hue range of golden-copper-amber-orangey; I don't think of a Brown IPA, or a Black IPA, or anything that could be aesthetically compared to a Guinness; I think of a beer typified by Two-Hearted, Sculpin or PtE. This beer is good, but due to my tendency to dislike 'Brown Ale', it just really doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of robwestcott
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

received as an extra in trade with hopsbreath... thanks.

poured a nice strong dark brown into a dogfish head signature glass with a 1/2 finger foamy, but very short lasting tanny head that left just a little lacing.

big green hop-py nose, and slightly bitter on the first sip.

i'm not a huge fan of bitter beers and IPAs, but the seven different malts in this one tone the bitter down nicely.

that said, it does lean more toward IPA than brown. a nice mix.

after about 20 minutes, the bitter settles right down. sweet would be too strong of a word, but it most definitely mellows out - and as an added bonus, several swirls bring s the head right back - bigger and longer lasting than the original pour.

thumbs up (a little bit).

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Photo of rmolledo
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a Dark Brown with a small quick fading head.

S: Coffee, Hops, Roasted Malts, some Caramel

T: Tastes like an IPA but with a more richer chocolate/roasty backbone that helps mellow out the bitterness. Nice Strong American Hop Flavor but a nice balance from the sweetness. Slight citrusy aftertaste.

MF: Minimal Carbonation, Slick Mouthfeel. Slightly Creamy. Little Tingle on the tongue.

D: This is one of the best American Browns i've had. Not harshly bitter and not too sweet. The malt and hop complexity makes every sip interesting. Doesn't taste like a 6.5% which helps make this exceptionally drinkable. I would buy this again, soon.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a maroon coloring that when viewed in front of light appeared a bright caramel apple red. The head was a light dirty tan, well retaining and spongey, but failed to impress or lace the glass. Visible carbonation was light to medium in strength with loosely packed micro-bubbles rising at a moderate pace.

S: A nice mixture of hops appear on the nose featuring west coast citrus along with some spicy dried tropical fruity notes of pineapple and a bit of grassiness that all comes compliments of the 5 different varieties used. The strength was noticeable at arms reach, but fails to retain and quickly becomes a quiet presence.

T: The initial opening featured spicy and fruity tones mending with west coast citrus hops along with some piney influence. With so many hops it was hard to distinguish much of the individual traits. The hopping blended together nicely enough but took away from any standout quality. Dried tropical fruitiness, semi-dry grapefruit, a bit of dry pine and sweetened orange grinds all appear blending together with moderately good results with a flowery finish. The malting was sweet and worty with a good brown quality, and I like the way it combines with the west coast hopping with both aspects fully appreciated. Warming with a bit of dried citrus for a fade.

M: The mouthful was thick and luscious, right on par with a brown style, while a good touch of crisp carbonation and luke warm citrus represents the ipa in this. A good residual malty coating ensures on the tongue upon the swallow.

D: Nice drinkability, would certainly drink and buy again. Combines the best of both worlds malty and sweet with a citrusy flowery hopping satisfying both styles. Six pack worthy.

Final thoughts, not to many brewers can pull off a hybrid style such as this with a good representation and keeping true to both styles. Usually something gets lost in the marriage, but they pulled this off with a well balanced worthy representation. This a fairly unique style you don't see to much of and I think this is up there in the ranks, maybe even better and easier to drink then Dogfishheads Indian brown.

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Photo of reeverbythespeak
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Though they've changed the name, it still tastes the same! This is one of my very favorite Terrapin beers. It pours a dark brown with a nice beige head. Much darker than, say, Boulder's IBA, and much richer. The aroma has malt and hops battling for attention, as the nose struggles to find one separate from the other. The taste is rich dark malts in the front folded by a hoppy finish. This is an extremely session-able beer that I will definitely visit again and again.

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Photo of CBlack85
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. Produces about two or three fingers of tan head that drops down to thin layer that sticks around until the beer is gone, leaving a thin film of sticky lacing.

Piney hops are quite dominant in the nose of this "Brown IPA". There are also some toasted malt notes and a slightly sweet aroma.

The flavor us a unique mixture of caramel malts and grapefruit/citrus hops. I am also picking up some mild chocolate and coffee notes. Medium bodied and moderately carbinated. It has a silky feeling on the tongue.

This is not your typical brown ale, but I do enjoy what Terrapin has done with it.

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Photo of tjd112
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured into River Horse pint glass

Appearance: Dark brown body, finger off-white head with some decent lacing

Smell - Hops, hops, and more hops

Taste - Like one would expect of a brown ale, very bready, malty, caramel, except a little more hoppy than usual

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied

Drinkability - A sipper

Overall - Good for the style

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Photo of irisier
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz brown bottle.

Appearance: Deep chestnut brown body with a thin tan head that retains well.

Smell: Very aromatic. Sweet maltiness with resinous and herbal hops. Dry and leafy characteristics.

Taste: Some mild malts upfront with some faint honey-like sweetness that is quickly overtaken by an evergreen, resinous hop quality that turns coarse and leafy near the end and lingers on the tongue for a bit.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and medium bodied with a faint hop oily quality.

Impressions: Impressive fusion of styles. Good tasting hops and pretty smooth.

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Photo of BricksandPorter
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured two cold into my Dortmunder Boot glass.

Pour - Dark reddish brown, appears black until held up to light. Crisp and crystal clear. Two fingers of thick, chocolate cream head. Very smooth and lacey, hangs around for a good bit.

Nose - chocolate malts with a clean, hoppy aroma. Very distinct.

Taste - roasted malts with deep sweet cola taste. Very dry hoppy finish with notes of cedar, cola nuts and sour cherries. Bitterness is palatable, refreshing and not at all overwhelming.

Mouthfeel - mild carbonation, very smooth and great mix of flavors. Not flat or skunky at all.

Drinkability - a great session IPA. Despite its intimidating look, the hops are very mellow and inviting. This is a great beer.

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Photo of Adamdc
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle picked up in Naples, FL with best by date of 07/10. Poured into nonic glass.

A: Deep brown body when held up to light resembles cola. Head is light tan in color with lots of sticky lacing.

S: Very malty with slight cocoa, dark fruit and some subtle hop aroma. I'm also getting an odd lemon aroma.

T: Very malty with the right amount of hop bitterness. Cocoa, chocolate and brown sugar round it all out.

M: Medium.

D: Very drinkable.

I'm always hesitant to review IPA's and other hop-centric beers because of fading. When very fresh, this beer may have more 'hoppiness' going on. With that said, this was very nice just the way it is.

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Photo of JunkYardJake
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle to pint glass.
Good looking beer here. Dark chocolate color with a amber tint when held to the light. Big fluffy head that melts into a sticky foam cap. Smell is lighter on hops then expected. Dark roasted malts dominate the nose with cocoa and a little nutmeg maybe. Hops are more prevelant in the palate as they mix with the heavy roasted malts to create a drier, more bitter brown ale with a bit of spice to it. Creamy mouthfeel that leaves a good coating. Pretty drinkable and tasty beer that is worth a try.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is seriously hoppy with an underpinning of grapefruit and just a whisper of sweetness. It pours a nice clear dark cinnamon brown with a fairly thick head. Flavor is nicely hoppy and a little bitter with hints of grapefruit. Texture is smooth and fairly fizzy, leaving a slightly bitter grapefruit-ish finish.

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

Had this one at Pax and Dogz in Pittsburgh. It had the India Brown Ale on the label...

A- Deep brown with a really nice big cake of a head. It has excellent retention.

S- Hoppy like and IPA and malty/biscuity/caramely like a nice brown ale. Parts are a lot like some black IPAs. A little bit of pepper and meat tenderizer.

T- Nice balance that goes back and forth from citrusy hops and caramel malts.

I really enjoyed this beer. Quite different. Its really like two beers at once.

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Photo of ghostee
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown with about 1 finger of head that quickly recedes.

The smell is slightly sour hops to the nose, and has a roasted malt and chocolate aroma.

The taste is an interesting combination. There are slightly fruity citrus tastes intertwined with the roasted malt, molasses and chocolate. The finish is ever so slightly sour and bitter, but the majority of the hop flavor is up front. This is complex and delicious.

Mouthfeel is not very heavy. There's a slight bite to the tongue from the hops, but it doesn't linger and is smoothed out by the roasted malts.

Drinkability is high. This is very easy to drink.

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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 jwc215
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by month 8, week 4 notched on side of label:

Pours dark brown with dark ruby/garnet hues. A thin tan, slowly vanishing head, tops it off. Thin lines of lacing stick.

The smll is of pine/resin, grapefruit, with brown sugar, slightly roasted chocolate and nuts.

The taste is hoppy - piney and citric/tropical fruity, slightly perfumy, with sweet dark malt - brown sugar, dark chocolate, nuts, very mild roast. Hops and malts do not clash, but work together well. Finishes bitter, but with a sweet touch.

The body is smooth, with no harshness, though could be fuller...

Too often, malty and hoppy clash (more with darker brews, though, I have found). Here is a brown ale that is hoppy, bitter, but not harsh. The two come together well here! A nice brew to choose if you want hoppy bitter with underlying, complementary, "brown" malty. Nice!

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Photo of llllDrGONZOllll
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle fresh and poured into a pint glass

Nice lacing and head that has a coffee ice cream look about it. Deep dark reds and amber blends in the brown ale. The brew is nice and dark only small amounts of light are allowed through the body when held to the light. Hints of coffee and spicy hops come through the nose. Roasted cashews come to mind covered in dark chocolate. My mouth is eager to dive in to this interesting strong hoppy brown ale. The first sip is creamy and full of coffee and caramel. Taking larger quaffs and allowing them to rest for a brief second before swallowing coats my pallet with resinous piny and spicy hops. The bitterness is low and gives the sweet dark malts a chance to have their 15 minutes of fame. The body of the brew is velvety smooth but not heavy. Carbonation feels balanced but is low. It sure is nice to not have an over abundance of pallet scrubbing co2 to kill the aftertaste. I will be looking forward to having this brew again.

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Photo of BigIrishman
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber brown with off white 1 finger head, dissipates quickly and leaves a bunch of lace.

Smell: Big burst of american hops here, some citrus mixed with a nice heaping of pine. There's a caramel sweetness from the malt coming through.

Taste: Nice change of pace here, there's those piney/fruity hops up front that washes into a nice sweet malt. There's also a nice bitter bite here but overall very balanced.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and tingles the mouth.

Drinkability: I'm definitely enjoying this, the maltiness really balances the hoppiness. I can go through a sixer in no time. This is a beer that begs the powers that be for a new India Brown Ale category.

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Photo of ncfranklin
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From a bottle into a pint glass.

A : Pours a dark brown with red highlights, and about a third inch thick head of a deep tan which quickly fades to practically nothing. Shockingly dark for something thats supposed to be a brown ale mixed with a west-coast style IPA.

S : Hops up front with a very smell that sweets on the end with rich malts. I am loving this. Strong, and unique.

T : Almost a reverse of the smell. The malts are first up front here with roasted-coffee, and a hoppiness bitterness bite on the end. I am a huge lover of brown ale's, and not so much of IPA's, but this a great collision of flavor that's extremely well balanced and powerful.

M : This one has a full body that rolls in your mouth with a smoothness. The carbonation is light, maybe a little less than I normally like.

D : I'd only have one of these in a sitting. It's very heavy, and so powerful on flavor that keeps it from being session-able. But, its deliciousness and unique flavors make it a great beer to have on occasion.

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Photo of Ringwoodbrewer
4.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a 12 oz. bottle

A- a bit hazy but a solid dark brown color, little lacing and poured with little head.

S- Hops, a generous amount, sweet hop smell, with malt in the back ground more earthy and pungent, you can tell its has a little bite

T- Bitter but light, much hoppier than an english brown. Earthy hop bitterness. great chocolate malt kick in the back ground.

M- perfect

D- I could drink probably two in a row befor I would have to change. Not as drinkable as I would have hoped.

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Photo of mempath
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

deep bright copper or translucent dried apricot (!) with a ncie tan head that laces in a thick, undulating sheet around the edge. purty!

interesting mix of hoppy citrus and malts. nicely balanced.

thick luscious mouthfeel complements the rich balanced blast of malt and hops. both are equally and powerfully present, but i don't think this would quite scare off those afraid of hops. there's a rich dried dark fruit sweetness somewhere deep center that certainly gives this breadth and depth. impressive. and just plain delicious. i could easily session these all day. then keel over. finish isn't too dry...lingers a bit. this brew is pure poetry.

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Photo of woosterbill
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, best by the fourth week of May, into a Duvel tulip.

A: Clear reddish-brown body underneath an inch of creamy tan foam with solid retention and lots of lace. All "brown IPA" oxymora aside, this is a great looking beer.

S: A wave of predominantly citrus hoppiness jumps out of the glass at first, followed by a deep and complex array of malts - definite chocolate, mild roastiness, light caramel sweetness, and a dry bready undercurrent. Very nice.

T: All the malt complexity is there, but the hops fade quickly after an initial burst of bitter tastiness. Not nearly as balanced as the nose, but still pretty tasty.

M: Medium body with a bit less carbonation than I'd like.

D: It's not bad here, but I'd really like some more assertive hops on the finish to keep things clean - the malts get a bit overbearing for a beer called "Hop Karma."

Notes: This is a really tasty and well-crafted beer, but it would have benefitted from a heartier dose of hops. I don't know exactly how old this bottle is, but at almost 2 months before its best by date, I don't think it's a case of the hops having faded markedly. They're there on the nose, but just get out-muscled by all the malts. I'll definitely be looking for a fresher bottle on my next trip down south, as I bet this could be a spectacular beer if it had brighter bitterness.


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Photo of JamesS
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

(Had on-tap at The Nook, Huntsville, AL)

Poured a very deep brown with a bit of nice initial head and a bit of lacing. Very deep and dark malty Ent-like scent. Excellent taste, a wonderful Ent-draught; deep and malty with a slight smokey flavor and a slight hop kick at the end to balance it. Goes down smooth, if a bit thick.

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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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