Terrapin Hop Karma IPA | Terrapin Beer Company

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Terrapin Hop Karma IPATerrapin Hop Karma IPA
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 TheNapkin
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a tasty beer. Dark brown in color, slightly coppery when held to the light. Heavy lacing along the sides of the glass with a thin head that disappears quickly. Great hop aroma with malty, molasses hints. The hops blend nicely into the taste, which is sweetish and typical of brown ales but not cloying by any means. Mild bittersweetness in taste, with a hind of dried chilis with their pruny bitterness (for those of you who know authentic Mexican chilis), a touch tannic, and finishing with an upswing of lemon rind, pepper, and sour grain. There's definitely a significant dose of darker malts, but the beer doesn't ever descend into barleywine territory despite it being darker than most of barleywines I've had. Mouthfeel is between a brown ale and a thin porter (read: not creamy) with a respectable bitterness that does not assault the tastebuds, but melts nicely into a lingering dryness. A very nicely balanced beer that is hoppy enough to quench your thirst on a hot day without sitting too heavily in your gullet.

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Photo of originalsin
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to shuajw for this one!

Typically, when I decide to review a beer I'll sit down with it, open up it's page, pour the beer, and get started. This experience was anything but typical--I don't if it was the allure of being the first beer I've tried courtesy of a trade or simply that I just got back from the gym but I had to get a taste before writing. After pouring Terrapin's India Brown Ale I had an overwhelming urge to just taste, so I did. And then I had some more...there's barely any left. What a beer!

The pour isn't really 'brown' in color- more so a dark hue of red. A bit of head materializes on the pour and laces decently. It smells so incredibly similar to something I've had recently I just can't put my finger on it. Various hops and heavy caramel malt notes smell goood to me.

It tastes very sweet and has a long and bitter finish that leaves the taste of hops on the back of your tongue. It's so balanced though with the caramel malt flavors.

Mouthfeel is light to medium with moderate carbonation that lent itself to incredible drinkabiility.

Needless to say, I may be asking for more of this beer quite soon.

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Photo of JAA
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brownish red, mostly red in the light. Thin head leaves very little lacing, mostly just bubbles sticking to the glass.

Smells faintly of toasted malts and caramel. fig and apple notes show up, also.

Tastes like what Newcastle aspires to be. Brown ale isn't my favorite style, but i don't mind having a couple more of these in the fridge. Quite hoppy in the finish. Not too malty up front, lightly coffee like.

Good carbonation, light mouthfeel. A little watery, much like every other brown ale i've had.

Better than the average brown ale, not my style. I won't seek, but will drink again.

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Photo of smchasta
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown brew with a reddish tint. A finger width of tan head.

S- Light on the smell. You catch a bit of a roasted scent, but all in all, the smell is very light for either a brown or and IPA.

T- Amazing. It has the strong hop taste of an IPA, but at the same time it tastes like a brown ale. The name is very self-explanatory with this beer. A bit of a fruit aftertaste with the hops.

M- Very dry finish you would expect from an IPA. Has an aftertaste that is pleasant for once.

D- Definitely drinkable. You can feel the high alcohol percentage about halfway through your first serving, but it goes down easily and has a great, strong taste that makes it easily and pleasantly drinkable.

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Photo of gfabeer
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the road in Geogia this seemed to be the most promising of the somewhat local and unfamiliar beers that the local Kroger had to offer. It claimed to be a meeting of a West Coast IPA and a traditional English Brown Ale. I think it did well in meeting that goal.

A - Poured a rich red-brown with a slightly tan head. The head was a bit fleeting and airier than I expected.

S - Nice blend of hops (would have enjoyed a bit more complexity - not sure what hops were used) and the coarser aroma expected of the brown.

T - My first impression was that the taste needed much more depth, but after the very pleasant hoppy aftertaste kicked in, I think it worked pretty well. My evaluation might be a bit off since I have just come off two weeks in Belgium sampling the top tier that country had to offer.

M - The head was definitely mediocre in the mouth. I thought the carbonation was a bit heavy at the beginning. Perhaps I could have done a better pour.

D - I will definitely be interested in seeing how the rest of the six pack holds up to scrutiny. I am glad I bought this beer. Might see if I can find some of there other beers in a beer store with more varied stock. The other advantage of this beer is that it is a nice compromise between my hop-headness and my wife who likes the brown ale more.

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Photo of CarlP2
4.11/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tall glass

A- Very dark brown, with a slight red tint showing through when held up to lilght. Thin layer of head, off white/tan color. Disappears quickly. Looks very inviting, I think I'll take a sip.

S- Not a lot to smell at first. Some roasted malt scents coming through. Some piney hops smell sneaking out too.

T- Wow!! Very interesting. Starts off tasting like other brown ales, but then has a hoppy fiinish. Strong roasted flavors, with a hint of chocolate hiding in there. The hops stand out a little more as the beer warms.

M- Another wow! Medium body and a little creamy, a pleasure to drink. Has a dry finish similar to an IPA.

D- I would be happy to drink more than one, unfortunately I only had this one as a gift from a friend. I will definitely drink this again. If you haven't tried it, go try it now.

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Photo of projectflam86
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rbald42 hooked me up with this one. Thanks!

A- Pours a dark brown color with a creamy tan head that leaves good lacing. Looks a bit like soda.

S- Some light roasted and hazelnut scents with a fair amount of hoppy floral character. Some sweet malt and brown sugar as well.

T- Sweet malt and roasted flavors initially. A bit of a caramel and molasses throughout. A huge amount of citrus and piney hop bitterness in the finish that really balance the whole experience very well.

M- Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Long bitter finish with a creamy feel.

D- Really nice tasting brown ale with a perfect balance of hoppy bitterness and sweet malt.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured deep brown in color with a very light white head. decent lacing and retention.

first on the nose was light hop notes and fairly strong molasses and roasted malts. a very sweet scent.

very hoppy flavors all over the placed mixed in with brown ale. very sweet through out. slight citrus and pine hops brought a nice bitterness that really enhanced the sweet roasted malts.

carbonation was medium to low and this was a very easy one to drink. not very thick, maybe a wee bit thin but nothing to ever complain about.

i loved everything about this beer. it was a fantastic take on the india brown ale and i might add that not many do it. low ABV and great flavors make this a near perfect beer. all in all, this was my pleasure and i am forever stoked i have 5 more left.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a murky dark amber/brown, with 3 fingers of frothy beige colored head. Rich looking retention throws a generous cascade of lacing up on the sides of the glass. The aroma has some floral and citric hop charactet going on with it, along with a surprising amount of smokey molasses and a touch of light roasted chocolate. A bit of light warmth makes it presence known as well. Nice.

The taste possesses a solidly moderate amount of hop bitterness and citrus scattered throughout the profile, with a very generous backing of that same mix of smoked and toasted malts, which is also giving off some sweeter notes of chocolate and caramel. Really nice finish to this, with light smokey tang just lingering on the lips. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a very creamy and mellow carbonation and overall feel to this, just gliding effortlessly across the palate.

Very nice! The India Brown Ale, for me, is a totally underated and underappreciated style, and is one that I would love to see more breweries do. For Terrapin to not only tackle this but also provide one of the best that I've had in the style was a real surprise and a treat. I will seek more of this out.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This fine 12 ounces of Jawja goodness is courtesy of ckeegan04. Many thanks to Chris for this offering that ends up in my old Medley's pint glass. BTW, BBD looks like 1st week in September. Cool.

Pours a light brown-sugar head - very thin...less than 1/3 finger...but that doesn't matter in this case, because this looks like PURE &*(%ING BOURBON coming out of the bottle. That counts for something. Visible carbonation is sparse but what's there moves with reasonable quickness.

Wow - that's what a brown ale should smell like. Molasses, caramel...a bit of the aforementioned bourbon booziness...and a pretty fair wallop of piney hops with even some citrus and flora mixed in. Definitely a hardcore caramel and maybe even slightly Germanic malt presence.

Holy crap, there are a $#!+load of hops in this. Piney, now grassy...even a little earthy. They hit me by surprise and I'm sure I made a Bill the Cat face (AAACK! THPPPT!). There's a slight metallic tone that will hopefully burn off but it may be linked to the malt presence of the more German variety (OK, the label mentions an English presence, so I may be wrong)...some Munich or Vienna may be in there, contributing a little tininess. Good...that's going away. Now we have a malty and hoppy menagerie going on. Nice!

After a little warmth this rounds out nicely in abundance. Feel is light enough to not be entirely filling but packs enough of a wallop to make its presence well-known. There is a very good balance of malt and hops here that works the senses very nicely and evenly. Finish is long and strong.

This is proper weight class for a brown ale and could be borderline sessionable but my suspicions are that the ABV may roll a little on the higher side for the style. Still, it drinks well with classic elements across the board. Very solid offering from the dudes at Terrapin "station."

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got 2 bottles of this beer from 2 different BA's - in a trade with Kiefdog, Thanks Kevin!
and as part of alleykatking's 'Local Stuff BIF' from jyounger30, Thanks Jay!

12oz bottle served in a Terrapin pint glass, Thanks again Jay!

Brown color with reddish hues and a beige head that thinned to a layer leaving good sheets of lace.
Citrus hoppy aroma with a light roasted smell in the background.
Some bitterness upfront in the taste with sweet, roasty malt flavors blended in, all quite nicely.
Medium bodied with good carbonation.
Goes down nice and easy, good overall beer here.

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Photo of yesferro
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 6pack of this at the Beverage Ware house in Arab AL, there is no way I could resist a bottle with such a nice label on it.

pours dark brown, with a very nice thick head, pretty nice lacing also. It smells hoppy but the smell is not as sharp as a regualr IPA, there is some sweetness to this smell. The tast is pretty good but after smelling the beer it was almost dissapointing. Hoppy, with a chocolate/coffee aftertaste. The taste dissapears very fast though, still a very nice find, very easy to drink!

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Photo of wmthorne
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A gift from a friend. Poured into a frozen mug. Two fingers of thick, creamy head that settled to look like clouds. Perfect to me.

I smell and taste both the hops and the malt. An excellent marriage of the two. A Newcastle type brew with a hippy aftertaste. Very smooth in my opinion.

Good carbonation in the mouthfeel. Nice lacing to the glass. Really wish this was locally available. This is a beer I could drink all day.

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Photo of porterwoobie
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served out of a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: brown color, one finger of tan head with some lacing

S: piney & citrusy hops, slight alcohol scent after the hop aroma fades

T: good mixture of malt sweetness, hop bitterness, and toasted notes. good balance of the flavors.

MF: smooth and creamy, low carbonation

Drinkability: awesome beer, very tasty. highly recommend this beer

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Photo of stephens101
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to GeorgiaBeer for the hookup on this one.

IPA mixed with a brown. Sounds intriguing.

Pours a very dark brown, bordering on black, with some crimson hues present at the edges. The one-finger tan head fades fairly quickly and leaves a minimal sheet of consistent lace all around the pint glass, eventually turning into stubborn stripes as the glass empties. Aroma involves deep sweet and toasted malts seemingly wrapped in some oily hops which present near the end. Some fleeting dark fruits and possibly dark licorice exist underneath it all. Has a very interesting taste which lies medium on the palate and finishes a bit dry. The hops outweigh the malts just a bit in the taste department, but the slight lack of balance isn't too far off, and is not detrimental to the overall taste. Some dark chocolates and pine exist, and stylistically, this one leans toward a hoppy stout. A lingering, but very subtle alcohol heat is present. Very interesting brew that works well on all fronts, and leaves a guy wanting more.

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Photo of donmonkey1
4.48/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black, great head, perfect lacing

Smell: Piney hops, really nice

Taste: Really good piney hops taste up front, fading to a hoppy but lightly sweet malt in the end.

Drinkability: Surprisingly good given the pretty strong hops. It's the first beer with real character that I think I could drink a lot of.

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Photo of Gyle41386
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown with reddish highlights. Smallish tan head retains well. Good lacing.

Smells like a hoppy brown. Citrus hops and dark malts.

Hmmm...citrus flavors come out first. Orange and grapefruit then give way to the dark chocolate and a very slight roast character. Not really much malt flavor despite this being a brown ale. Not really a whole lot to the finish, either.

Medium body...appropriate carbonation, although, for the pop the cap made when opened, I expected more.

I understand the concept of the India Brown Ale, but this one could really use some more balance. It's still tasty, but it misses it's own mark slightly.

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Photo of mcallister
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice looking beer with the head setting it off. Thick rocky tan head with great retention and phat lacing. Brown like the bottle says.

Nice layered hop aroma with citrus leading the way into a grassy piney section. Good malt backbone with toffee and caramel notes. Some red currant aroma also.

Nice easy drinking beer. Not overly complex but showing great balance. A bit of nutty character with toffee and caramel in the middle. The hops then show late middle through a bitter finish. Hops are resiny, citrusy grassy and a bit earthy. A prune flavor also shows in the late middle. Very nice beer.

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Photo of Murchmac
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks G to illy for this extra, could be my new favorite beer

Unlike the Indian god Brahma, this has no head. Dark brown color like Kali, the dark mother.

Smells like a homebrew store malts and hops section.

Tastes like someone poured some malt extract into a cup, and then threw a bunch of fresh hops in it. Fantastic.

Great Hoppy Aftertaste. I would most appreciate if you would change the naming of this beer to maltppy the destroyer. Thank you, drink again.

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Photo of azorie
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a muddy dark brown leaves about a 1/2 inch head of lace, I love how dark it is.

S: some malt, dark bread, all those hop aromas dominate

T: toasted brown bread flavor, with some malt back bite.
Big time grapefruit hoppy front end, some caramel malt comes out.
Its a IPA ale that is brown if you ask me.

M: Medium body and moderate carbonation

D: Well I had a few its refreshing, I guess I was in the mood for a IPA. Weird I usually don't enjoy IPA but this one reminds me of Dales PA, but its brown.

Notes: since the style definition is so vague I guess its fits the style.
Its slightly unbalanced to the hop side, but what can you except its a IPA Brown ale.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label reads "India Style Brown Ale" but I've never heard of that. But wait, they explain it - it's a combination of an IPA and a brown ale. I get it. I still don't like the name, but the beer inside is really good.

It's a dark mahogany brown beneath a short head of creamy off-white foam. Unfortunately the head retention is quite limited, but it does leave some minor spots and streaks of lace about the glass.

The aroma delivers and interesting combination of citrusy hops and dark cocoa-like malt that combine into one intriguing scent that's spicy, chocolatey, and just slightly fruity. It reminds me of chocolate and orange candy.

The flavor really opens it up though, and it's loaded with citrusy hop flavors, followed by soft notes of chocolate. I'd have thought there'd have been more of a combination as found in the nose, OR, more of a muddled mash-up, but it's neither. The citrus is presented first, with orange and grapefruit and tart melon up-front, and then they quickly dissipate just across the middle and into the swallow as the cocoa and dark-chocolate flavors rise. Following that, the finish is surprisingly simple. There's a little bit of flavor-melding involved, giving it that orange-centered chocolate candy I'd imagined in the aroma, but other than that it simply disappears. Sure, some grassy/spicy hops and a bit of citrus rind linger along with a bit of cocoa dust, but they actually help to cleanse the palate - I was expecting a mash-up of flavor and then a sloppy, lingering finish, but it's actually very focused and clean-cut. Superb!

Nicely done! Very well-balanced all around. An interesting and drinkable beer. I could certainly have more than one of these at a time. Worth trying!

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Photo of LauraAlberts
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark Brown with Ruby/Tawny Hue - Thick tan head that quickly vanishes

Smell: Caramel, Chocolate, Coffee Beans

Taste: Hoppy bitterness that turns into porter goodness and dries out the palate for the next sip. Chocolate, Coffee.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied - nice smooth tannic feel.

Drinkability: Session or sip. This one's a great mid-morning get your day going brew or a nice relaxing beer in the afternoon.

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Photo of mikereaser
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a murky deep dark brown with 1/4 inch of off white foam that left plenty of lacing

S - sweet malts and piney hops

T - sweet malt, coffee and bitter chocolate dominate the flavor

M/D - light/medium bodied with very good taste, nicely balanced brown ale that I'll definitely look for again

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Photo of cpmau11
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stella Artois glass. Pours out nicely with a dark brown body and a nice one inch creamy head. The aroma is first thing that popped out to me, very robust smell. Smells very hoppy and yet still malty. Taste very smooth with a slightly bitter flavor on the back palate and aftertaste. Taste like an excellent version of a hybrid between an IPA and an English brown ale. Mouthfeel is creamy and calm. Overall this is very good beer and very interesting style. Definitely Terrapin's best beer, in my opinion.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a milk-chocolatey brown with about an inch's worth of tan head on top. This dissipates to a ring around the edge. Great sticky webbing all over the glass. A thing of beauty. Smells of gingerbread, cocoa powder, bread, molasses, and vinous grapes.

Mouthfeel is nice and crisp. Great amount of carbonation. I love the flavor on this! It's like chocolate bread with a hop bite at the end. So much cocoa in this. This is the best brown ale I've ever had, hands down. Drinkability is not-surprisingly high. I could have another easy, too bad I only have one. This may be my new 'extra' to throw in in future trades. Highly recommend.

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Terrapin Hop Karma IPA from Terrapin Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 1,009 ratings
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