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

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 BeerLover99
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep brown, finger khaki head, good lacing

S: grapefruit, caramel, pine, malt

T: grapefruit, mild pine, malt, mild bitter
finish/hint of caramel

M: med body, semi-dry/hint of oily

O: I enjoyed this beer. Very interesting.
Would recommend it and may
get again. loads of flavor for 6% ABV.


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Photo of syrupjoe
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours an amber-brown color with creamy inner almond colored one finger head.

Nose is roasty, slightly tobacco-y, sweet like molasses, and slightly boozy. Noticeable but not strong hop presence.

Taste is roasty, caramel-y, slightly sweet (but not too sweet) with gentle resinous pine notes. Expected this to be super pungeont, but instead it blends the aspects of brown and IPA without being too strong.

Crisp, slightly sweet but tight mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

Overall a great beer. An interesting style that Terrapin does a great job with - something I would definitely seek out!

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Photo of seanwhite
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark rich brown with a little head that fell to a tan ring, and left some lacing. Aroma of fresh floral and citrus hops and a candy sugar malt with a mild earthy spice. Initial bitter flavors of citrus and herbal hops give way to a balanced sweetness and a long, lightly bitter and roasted finish that showcases some nice chocolate malt flavors and light citrus hoppiness. Body is medium with a decent amount of carbonation that helps accent some of the hop flavors.

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

Poured this one into trusty Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Murky brown in body--almost like a cloudy cola. It has a half inch head that sinks down to a healthy quarter inch.

Smell: I'm smelling a dark earthy roasted barley that overwhelms the IPA hop aroma. I'm picking up a little booze in this as well.

Taste: Very complex and exciting--roasted malt, biscuit and bread crusts, slammed up against a wave of West Coast hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall: This is a great hybrid. I've tried to do the same in a home-brew batch and fell flat on my face. This beer has a unique personality. My hat is off to the brew wizards at Terrapin.

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Photo of kagent777
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from Sonofalime, thanks Mike!

Poured into my beer goblet from a bottle with a best before of first week in December.

Appearance: Brown with a very short lived head that settled to an island with a few bubbles in the center that did leave a little lacing.

Smell: Smells a little of toasty malts but a little more of piney hops. Just a touch of alcohol, too.

Taste: This is a brown ale with the normal toasty maltiness and little to no residual sweetness. The hoppiness is toward the back end of the swallow and the finish. It is characterized by earthy and herbal hop notes with a touch of the pine noticed in the smell. A change of pace from my usual style of beers.

Mouthfeel: The body is middling and the carbonation is on the lighter side. The flavors coat the mouth nicely but are not overbearing.

Overall: Like the first black IPA you had, this one, too, is a change of pace. I did enjoy this one a lot. I would like to try it on tap sometime.

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Photo of david18
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had a bottle of this at World of Beer in Orlando. The place was very interesting and I'm impressed with how many different brands are distributed there, seems a lot more than in New York. The beer was very good and I'm not quite impressed with this brewery.

Appearance was a little darker than the typical IPA, hard to see through, good amount of light colored carbonation.

Aroma was a well balanced mix of hops and malt. Some spiciness and easily smellable from pretty far away.

Flavor was similar to the aroma, with a little more maltiness than I would expect from a beer like this. Overall a good flavor.

I liked this beer and hope to be able to try it, as well as other Terrapin offerings, again soon.

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Photo of ctfixer
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle at 40 degrees farenheit into a shaker syle pint glass...

If my kids didnt see me pour it, they would ask for a drink of my Coke. Same color for sure. The tan colored head faded quickly and leaves a small amount,if any, lacing.

When first poured, you really smell the hops first and then some malty notes are evident. Very complex, as the beer warms you smell the malt first!

The taste follows the nose almost right on, which I like in a beer. Again when first poured the hops really came through, and as it warmed I get a lot more of the malt character. Trying to decide why I liked it better from the first sip.

The mouth feel of this one seems to be right on for a really big tasting beer, in that it is really more on the sessionable side. Not too thick bodied but not too thin.

Overall this is really a puzzler for me as it really seemed to change a ton with temperatue. I really liked it better when first poured cold than after it warmed. That is unusual for my taste buds. Definitely a lot going on here, you can really tell its a combo of malts and hops.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly cloudy tea/cola brown glass holds a thin cover of foam that leaves clingy strands of lace.

Smell: Slightly worty base to a lot of hop flower punch. Reminds me of Double Bastard in some respects with both malt and hop assaults.

Taste: Fairly well balanced with both the brown sugary malt and the citric and earthy hops showing their stuff. A slightly metallic finish that I think is bittering hop induced, not enough to seriously slow me down.

Mouthfeel: Great body, seems almost light in the mouth and leaves a long oily strangely satisfying finish. Carbonation is spot on; lively without going foamy.

Overall: Beer punches above it's weight class. A Big Beer for 6 percent, lots of flavor and character.

Thanks to Illudium for the sample!

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a fluffy inch-high tan head, sitting on top of a deep dark brown liquid.

Citrus and pine hop notes easily make it through a nutty malt base. Simple and clean aroma.

Tasting this, and just considering what it seems to be aiming at, the nutty, roasty malt character doesn't carry the more burnt personality of a blacker, darker IPA. So the mildly citrus-like tones of the hops get to push through and perform well in tandem with the malt. Some sourness adds a bit of depth. A metallic edge, minor but present, meets the hops in the finish. Ultimately it achieves a decent fusion of an IPA and a brown ale. I would have liked more of everything, but that's just me.

Slightly creamy mouth, though not a ton of body nevertheless. It's on the thinner side but holds up well enough and isn't quite what I'd call watery.

So it's kind of a brown "black IPA" or "black ale," and it could get silly playing the "what is it?" game. Maybe think of it as a lesser take on Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale. Despite that comparison, and despite it not blowing my mind (or tongue), Hop Karma comes with its own personality, for sure.

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Photo of BeerNoobNC
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got an individual bottle at Total Wine in Cary, NC. Best If Enjoyed by date of October 1.

Mostly tastes like a typical Brown Ale style (a good one I might add). However, this brown ale is a lot more hoppy than that typical brown ale. In my opinion, this is a great mixture of those two styles (brown ale and IPA).

It has the same color as most brown ales (but maybe slightly lighter). The smell is a mixture of sweet brown ale and hoppy IPA.

Overall, this beer is a unique choice and anyone that can find it should try it.

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Photo of hopking311
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark vaguely see thru brown/amber, half finger lacey head.. dissapates to thin white line around inside lip of my swamphead brewery snifter.

smells sweet brown sugar, citrus hop undertones,roasty malts.

well carbonated, light to medium body

tastes of dry hoppy bitterness atop of roasty malts. bitter chocolate flavors, caramel...definately getting those 5 different hops again.

Overall smooth nice median India brown ale.. Terrapin gets my vote when it comes to these hybrid styles.. I.E. Pumpkinfest..

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Photo of kbuzz
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with best by date of end of January...but no indication as to whether that is Jan 2011 or 2012...???

A: Dark brown ale with some lighter brown highlights around the edges. About a finger of head that faded to a thin lace. Lots of white fizzy bubbles streaming up through the beer, appears to be pretty highly carbonated.

S: Amazing aroma. Very syrupy and sweet smell. Lots of brown suger/toffee/caramel notes, some faint char and even some coffee. Plenty of floral/earthy hop notes.

T: The taste is just a shadow of the nose. Everything is there, but much more muted. Some hop bitterness up front and definitely like a burnt coffee/chocolate note throughout the taste. Those floral hops are there as well, but I don't know that I'd called this an IPA. There's just way more char than anything else.

M: Fizzy and a little on the thin side.

O: The smell on this beer is phenomenal, but the taste just doesn't deliver. Truth be told, I've had this in the past and I remember it being much better. The expiration date is also perplexing. There was a ton of hops in the nose, but barely anything in the taste. Usually hop aroma is a sign of freshness, so I think I have a fresh bottle. I think I would consider this to be just a slightly hoppy brown ale more than any sort of Brown IPA. Would have also benefitted from a little more body.

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Photo of pBRale
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes on 9-6-11

Appearance: Dark brown pour, light tan head--thick and creamy with moderate retention.

Smell: Toasty malts and a host of hops--citrus, floral, grapefruit, etc.

Taste: Lots of hops and grapefruit/citrus at the front, flollowed by an almost sweet bready malt flavor in the middle (very nice), and more hops that lead to a slightly bitter, very crisp and delicious finish.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium bodied feel, plenty of carbonation (medium), and the bitter finish keeps it crisp and drinkable. Pretty smooth and damn tasty.

Overall: Definitely leans more toward the IPA than the brown, but qualities of both are definitely present in this beer. A well done, excellent hybrid beer.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle - thanks to zacs for this one

Appearance – Clear red/brown colour with an average size frothy and fizzy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation visible and there is a excellent amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel, chocolate, grapefruits

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and some hops. There is also some chocolate and coffee flavour mixed with a light smokiness and some faint citrus. The beer finishes with a chocolate hoppy aftertaste.

Overall – The mouthfeel kind of held this beer back from being excellent. It was a little thin and could use a boost in carbonation. The flavours were great though, and I'd like to try this beer fresh on tap.

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Photo of Duff27
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Half-inch of a fizzy, tan head on a brown, almost see-thru (but not quite), beer. Quality lacing and a decent grasp on the head retention thing.

S- caramel malts, subdued citrus hops.

T- Lots of stuff going on here. Caramel, toffee, chocolates, more muted citrus hops. A little boozy for being to small on the ABV.

M- On the heavy side of a medium mouthfeel. Good carbonation.

D/O- Relatively unique beer here. A lot going on with the roasty flavors and the hop profile. This is a beer where you're probably better off not picking the flavors apart but instead just accepting it for what it is.

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Photo of busterwhite
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Best by date on label. Pours a darkish brown, not much of a head.

Smells slightly of nuts, caramel mixed with a little citrus and floral aroma.

Big Hops up front with citrus, piney and a little bitter. Finishes with a malty caramel but leaves a pretty bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is not bad, decent carbonation and medium body.

This just didn't come together real well for me. Not bad, but I think I'll stick to separate browns and IPA's.

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

A: Pours a dark brown with some ruby colored highlights. A one finger tan colored head forms on top and has some nice retention. Solid rings of lace remain behind.

S: Up front there is a good bit of grapefruit and some pine which gives way to some brown sugar and a little bit of a nutty aroma. There is also a faint smoky aroma.

T: Interesting for sure. Starts off with some citrus and tropical fruit and a slight hint of pine. The back end is straight up brown ale though with some caramel, brown sugar, and some nuts.

M: Medium bodied, and on the creamy side for an IPA (probably the brown showing through a bit here).

O: I was a bit skeptical going into this one, but I was pleasantly surprised. Terrapin does a good job making a hoppy brown ale here. Not something I would drink all the time, but solid.

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

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A - Dark ruby brown pour with a slightly tan half finger head. Spotty lacing.

S – Subtle citrusy grapefruit smell. Roasty malts. Chocolate.

T – Nice sweet malty taste to start off with. Definite chocolate notes. Caramel, vanilla and toffee as well. Just a tiny bit of citrus notes. Roasty finish.

M – Medium bodied and carbonation. Creamy on the palate. Nice.

O – Was not sure what to make of this. Its really a nice brown ale with just a bit of hoppy bitterness to it. Nice though and very easy drinker.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 12 ounce bottle from jyounger30. Best by the third week of January is notched in the label, though no year is specified. Thanks Jay! Into the Sweetwater pint glass you sent...

Pours a deep, deep brown with mahogany hues near the edges of the glass where the light is able to shine through a bit more. About an inch or so of foamy, frothy khaki head develops. Smells of citrusy hops, some spice, a touch of pine, and orange. Were it not for the color of the body, the smell would certainly suggest an IPA and fool an unsuspecting patron. The taste brings it back to a brown ale though, beginning with an almost roasted nut character, some caramel malt, and a bit of cane sugar. Finishes with a hop bite and spice (coriander?), but is oddly present throughout the whole drink. Mouthfeel is good, with a creamy texture and ample carbonation. Overall, a very odd brew that seems to fall short of excelling in either the IPA or Brown Ale styles.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque brown with a slight tan head. Leaves a decent amount of lacing down the glass.

Smells of mostly chocolate malt. Taste is pretty similar. Lots of chocolate notes with some hop presence although not quite as much as expected from the name. Additional chocolate bitterness is also detectable. Taste every slightly favors malt but is not overly sweet.

Mouthfeel is good and creamy with a good level of carbonation.

Pretty decent beer. Better than the Big Hoppy Monster. Delivers a good hop presence while still staying true to the flavor profile of a brown.

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

Dark brown pour, thick, beige head, 1", good hang out time to it. Aroma was chocolate and piney hops, they aren't kidding about the 7 malts and 5 hops, this beer is all over the place nose wise, in a good way. Best of both worlds type of cliche.

More chocolate, bitter nuts, good hop presence, some toffee. This really does the brown ale and ipa thing the best of any example I can think of. DFH has a decent version, but this is just bigger. Caramel and chocolate malt and all the hops equals a tasty, chewy, roasty experience. Brown ales don't all have to be boring.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Medium brown with a beet red tint to it. Light reflects off the glass at the edges, giving off a bright red hue. With a firm pour, a foamy beige head forms and retains pretty well. Ultimately it fades to a ring, but not before leaving some lace on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is caramel and roast malt, some peat, hazelnut, with some earthy and a little citrus hop presence.

Taste: The flavor has a very typical brown ale start; molasses, caramel malt, and some peat combine with some nutmeg and cinnamon up front. The bitterness comes in with woody and earthy tones, with a flash of citrus. It is fairly good, but pretty soft flavor overall.

Mouthfeel: This is fairly full carbonated, with a light, semi-watery mouthfeel.

Overall: There is not really enough punch of any kind to keep me interested in getting this again.

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Photo of FattyJLE
4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

S - Citrus fruit and pineapple. A nice west-coast aroma with some malt sugar and a hint of chocolate.

A - An opaque, deep brown with a thin, bubbly off-white head with little to no lacing.

T - Roasty malts up front. A solid malt backbone throughout with mild citrus rind and grassy hop flavors. A hint of dark chocolate rolls around midway before finishing medium-dry with a mild grainy feel accompanied by earthy hops.

M - Moderate body, appropriately carbed. Finished medium-dry.

O - Another quality brew from Athens. A perfect combination of the two styles. A very West Coast American Brown Ale. Would definitely have again.

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Photo of depechemode1983
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out a very dark brown color with deep red hues. It has a thick frothy/foamy brown two finger head. Retention is awesome and lacing all around the glass randomly proportioned

S - Upfront you get toasted malts, mild coffee, and a slight citric bitterness from the hops. Some caramel sweetness in the middle. Finish is clean and dry.

T - The taste is balanced nicely. You get slightly toasted malt characters along with a balancing citric ipa bitterness. Coffee, burnt toast, roasted caramel and bitter grapefruit.

M - Medium bodied. Smooth and well carbonated.

O - A damn fine beer. Its a little bit of a switch up on styles.

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Photo of Gushue3
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- One finger head that quickly turns foams with many bubbles. Head retention is moderate and lacing is minimal. Body is deep dark brown that is transparent when held to light.

S- Big malt bomb with some nuttyness and faint hops in there too. Light citrus from the hops and toffee/caramel from the malt. interesting scent

T- Exactly what you would expect, in a good way. Nice malt backbone that carries throughout like a brown ale with some nice sharp, citrusy hops to compliment. The finish is a nice combination of malt and hops, tastes like a brown ipa.

M- Mouthfeel feels about a medium with slightly higher carbonation. I can imagine this would be great to drink during an end of summer/fall fire.

O- Nice beer that mixes the best parts of both styles. I'm not too much of a brown ale guy but this mixes it well with one of my favorite styles.

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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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