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 SolarMikey
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This brown ale / IPA hybrid is a medium-dark brown color (a tinge on the red side), just slightly hazy with a thin frothy head that leaves good lacing.

Its aroma is roasty with caramel overtones that are stronger than the contribution of the hops.

The flavor is well-balanced between dark, toasty malts and piney hops, and there is a slight metallic undertone that doesn't impact the enjoyment of the beer. The hoppy finish lingers slightly.

The body is crisp and light -- almost too thin -- and there is a small amount of carbonation.

I agree completely with a previous reviewer that, although this is a tasty beer (and the first offering from Terrapin I've tried!), it pales in comparison to Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale. I definitely look forward to trying some more good brews from Terrapin in the future, though!

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Photo of spointon
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Acquired in a recent trade with outstanding BA everytends (thanks Gilly). I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass.

A= This ale poured a deep dark reddish brown color with decent clarity and a 2.5" foamy tan head. The head dropped after 10 minutes or so to a creamy ring. Decent lacing.

S= Smelled "sharp" from the combination of hops and roasted grain bitterness. Some grainy malt sweetness in there too.

T= Showed brief flashes of the brown malt sweetness, but mostly was overwhelmed by the acidic roasted grain husk and hop bitterness. The hops were oddly sharp, with lots of pine and a lack of citrus notes. The finishes was super dry, bitter, and a bit astringent.

MF= Medium body with tight carbonation and a slick mouthfeel.

D= Brown ales are not my favorite style, but this fusion of styles is interesting. I wouldn't want 6 of them, but its well worth a try!

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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 Hojaminbag
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A pretty dark brown body with a nice off-white head.

A huge bitter aroma comes off of this one, all grapefruit and hops.

This is a hoppy brown ale for sure. Like the name would suggest, it's pretty much a brown IPA. I really think it isn't all that well balanced though. Up front comes a blast of bitter hops that has some grapefruit flavors. Rounded it out is only a touch of caramel and chocolately sweetness. Nice hop profile, but this one is not very balanced I would say. It needs more malt to back it up.

Fairly light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

OK drinkability. Definitely one of the hoppier browns around. A decent beer overall.

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Photo of goatgoat
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks UGADawgGuy for the opportunity.

Pours clear dark woody brown with orange red highlights. A tan one finger cap quickly falls to a thin ring.
Aroma is a bit of dark fruit, caramel malt overridden by clean citrus, a hint of pine.
Taste is smooth malt sweetness, roasted and a bit coffee, with a hop bitterness that puts up a good fight. Bitter and sweet roasted notes tangle into finish. Along with the bitter finish, a strange lasting harshness shows up a little bit after swallowing. Like eating lemon pith. An unfortunate distraction.
Medium light body with moderate carbonation.

This is a really interesting brew. If they could tame the harshness of the finish it could easily be one of my favs. As it is, I'll be happy to get a bottle, but I won't go out of my way for a sixer.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown rith bright amber hues when held up to light. This light brown head quickly fades to nothing. Very light rings of lace on the glass.

S - Very nutty aroma domainates the nose. Lots of roasted pecan. Spicy hoppiness provides a nice backing but the maltiness is the dominant aroma.

T - Light sweetness initially with hints of raosted nuts. An interesting mix of hops comes in primarily dominated by pine and floral notes. Light fruity hints as well. I like the idea of where they are going with this taste profile, I just dont think it quite hits it.

M/D - Light to medium body and a little thin in the mouth. Very smooth going down with a good level of carbonation. The taste just does not quite do it for me to make this one super drinkable.

Not a beer I would ever turn down if offered, but certainly not one I will stock in the fridge on my own dime.

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Photo of Boitnott
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown IPA by Terrapin

A: It has a light brown color. Also it has a red hue if you put it to the light. There was not much head on the beer, but the small amount was white.

S: You can smell the hops more than the nuttiness of the brown. However, not a strong smell overall. The other versions of these styles do not have strong smells anyway.

T: The nose has a light taste of the brown ale. If you let it linger (The Cranberries) in your mouth than the taste of the brown really comes out, so I would suggest doing this. The finish tastes more like the IPA, but not as strong as a full IPA or Imperial. The problem I have is that the flavors are more dichotomous than paired. Its kinda like drinking a brown ale, spitting it out and then quickly drinking an IPA.

M: There is a light carbonation to the beer. It is not as smooth as I would expect for a brown ale.

D: I could drink a lot of these because they are pretty light. They do have a full body so you wont feel completely full after drinking it. The taste is good enough to drink a lot of.

Serving Type: On-tap at Clementines in Harrisonburg, VA

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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 jrallen34
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to AgentZero.

12oz bottle into my Rochefort glass.

Medium to dark brown pout with a buggly light tan, immediately thought of root beer. Light retention and lacing...Aroma is nice, hoppy to start but a definite malt backbone with a hint of nuts on the finish. A lot going on, but I like it...The taste doesn't do the aroma justice, way to muddled. Hops and huts and caramel hit me at once and not in a good way. Weird hoppy bitterness, just weird all around.

Comendable try, but sometimes brewers just get to fancy trying to blend styles, this is one such occasion. Not worth trying even to try a brown ipa.

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer reminded me of light, yet sllightly hoppy stout. I like hops, but this beer wasn't overly bitter and the hops paired well with the malts. My only complaint was that the beer had a weird metallic after taste. This seemed to go away as the beer warmed up. So perhaps I just got some bad bottles or something.

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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 TheBeerAlmanac
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: A translucent dark brown color with a thin tan head.

S: Smells just slightly sweet with pastries and malt. Subtle, but nice.

T/M: There are a small amount of hops in this one but the rest of it is full bodied with a borderline creamy texture. It’s a very good balance between nuttiness and hoppiness that isn’t overly flavorful, but still a very good beer.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Label notched "Best before first week of January"..Hmmm..No year date? Either this bottle expired last January or Terrapin gives their beer a BB date with a 5 month leadtime?
This particular bottle came my way in August via a trade with BA RustyDiamond.

Pours chestnut brown with a chill haze. A half-inch head of beige slimmed down to a solid skim coat with dots and short streaks of lacework throughout.

Aromatics are a blend of bitter chocolate, roasted malt, with hints of nuts and earth.

Medium bodied and a bit grainy. A slightly coarse mouthfeel.

Toasted chocolate nubs, burnt nut shells, and a hint of acrid malt lead off the pallet.
A slightly drying, firmish bitterness pulls through, along with some faint citrus notes and a hint of coffee grounds.

Finishes with lingering, bitter, roasted chocolate, and some pine bark.

Tasting pretty unremarkable. I'm not getting the "India" connection, with the only real hops present is in the bitterness.

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Photo of afksports
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hop Karma IPA was exciting, and I'll be damned if that little bugger doesn't look all peace love and hoppiness like the bottle states. But something doesn't work here. Maybe the hops/malt combination needs a thicker roastier body, or maybe the malts just need to win and make this a brown in itself. It's drinkable, but as hoppy as it is in the front, it's spiked with nutty malts in the middle, and then finishes clean with a combo of grapefruit and nuts in the back that also has a soapiness to it.

Not in love, not really hoppiness here I must say. The smell is good, with malts dominating in a fun and complex fashion - hints of sweetness, mostly a nuttyness, almost like amaretto or something. The medium body sits well and the carbonation is solid. That, along with good head and good head retention make this filtered brew an easy looker.

But ultimately not the easiest drinker. Enjoyable, but a little disappointing, mainly because it's the first Terrapin beer I've found for sale in the NYC market.

Can't say this is a bad beer though. It does everything well. In fact, overall it's quite good if you want a grapefruit and nuts combo. But I guess I just had higher hopes.

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Photo of JesteR14
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark mahogany color, deep red colors in the light. Very nice appearance. Nice head that fades with some time, leaving creamy bubbles at the top.

S- hops, malts, defiantly smelling an IPA here.. dark sweetness...

T- Hops at first, then the malts come in quickly. There is a sweetness, like syrup or brown sugar, i cant figure out. Carmel? Dry hop taste, that leaves a lasting impression on your mouth. I think that the dark sweetness is there, it makes it an easier drinker.

M- Taste lingers with bitterness but quickly gets balanced with some nutty malts. Strong but good brew, i couldn't drink many though..

D- Low for IPA, but decent flavor none the less.

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Photo of zoso493
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic.

Appearance: Pours a nice deep ruby-red color that really becomes illuminated in the light. Even a vigorous pour can only produce a negligible head which disappears almost instantly.

Smell: Really nice and complex nose to this beer. Some dark chocolate and molasses come out as well as a nice hop profile.

Taste: The taste is somewhat of a letdown. You can make out some faint hops and malts but the two are blended together terribly.

Mouthfeel: Decent body and carbonation but it's very oily and unpleasant to the palate.

Drinkability: Due to the oily nature of the mouthfeel, I think I'll probably have trouble finishing just this one.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

An interesting mix of a traditional brown ale and an IPA. Poured to a reddish-brown with tan head, reminiscent of a brown ale, but the nose was roasted malted nuts and wood, infused with a hint of citrusy hops. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and alternated between slightly sweet and bitter. Taste was mostly the malty flavors, but with a slight aftertaste of citrus.

An interesting beer, but for my money, I'd rather have either a brown ale or IPA, not both at once.

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Photo of beerinmorning
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours nice. Not much head or carbonation, but the tan lacing clings all the way through the drinking. Nice dark color, but against the light it has a rich red color, almost ruby.

I've seen some other reviews highlight the grapefruit rind smell, which is noticeable. Still there is also the hint of grass and aspirin as well.

The first taste is very much hop-loaded. The citrus notes really echo the IPA flavor, but with with a little lower IBU rating than most IPAs I have tried.

The finish is sweet and malty, with just a hint of coffee. I don't get the bread that some other reviewers are claiming, but everyone is different. Very dry finish, but I prefer a dry finish.

In the end, it's more of an IPA than a stout or porter. It's my first experience with a dark IPA. With a moderate 6% ABV, I could make this my beer of choice for a whole night.

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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 jdubjacket
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought at the Toco package store in Atlanta. Pours a deep brown with a decent head. Alot of lacing along the glass on this one. Good amount of malt in the nose. Taste is pretty well-balanced between the hops and barley. Taste is relatively subdued though. Mouthfeel is pretty watery, but this beer is drinkable. Overall, not my personal favorite. But this isn't a bad beer.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the city that brought us REM comes another interesting mix - this time with dark malts and hops, an IBA where in this case the 'B' is for brown. I like brown ales, and I like an IPA, and I am a believer in hop karma, so let's see how this works together.

A - Rust color beer with little head but fine retention and lacing

S - An earthy, smoke smell dominates, only a hint of hops. I'm getting worried

T - The roasted grains used stands out as well as some carmel flavors. Sweet like a porter which transitions into well balanced hop overtones.

D - If you broke it into its parts, its an average IPA and an average Brown. The balancing act to pull them together is interesting, but in the end nothing special.

... and I feel fine!

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pretty much like every other brown ale. Nice and clear, semi-thick head that doesn't last but leaves a nice trial of lace on the glass. No carbonation visible.

S - Nice combination between the two styles of beer (brown ale and IPA). Clear caramel and light toasted malt notes with the interjection of crisp hops in the middle, but aren't too pungent or fresh. Nicely worked.

T - Eh, not amazing after the first sip but you can definitely pick out the two styles of beer. It's like a homebrewer making a brown ale but ordered too many hops by accident and said "eff it, throw 'em in anyway". Although the two beer styles did come together and merge correctly I prefer the two of them separate.

M - A little light on the carbonation but has a medium body with a light chalky feel on the palate. Bitterness doesn't linger on the palate so ti's very easy to drink.

To me this beer is just good. Nothing to write home about but I do appreciate the effort of trying to over-hop a brown ale. Just not my preference.

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Photo of TheBeerDrinker
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours out almost dark black with a little hue of brown with a tiny light brown head that dissipated quickly.

Smell is dark malt forward with a decent dose of citrus and earthy hops. The smell is definitely malt forward after a second smell. Not sure how old this is as it is said to be retired at this point.

Taste is burnt malt forward but there what I would say are maybe some earthy hops in the background. Keep in mind I think this is an old "brown IPA."

Mouthfeel is actually quite thick for the style given I really don't see much carbonation and there was little head to this beer.

Overall keep in mind that this is a retired "brown IPA" so I am probably not reviewing this beer near its peak. It's an OK beer I guess but I am sure it would be better when it was released. Overall it is very drinkable but it really isn't at it's peak. I am however very thankful for the extra as I received this in a trade with some really great beers.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer a while back and I wasn't too thrilled about it. Then by mistake a bought it again and drank it thinking it was a new beer and noticed how much my tastes had changed. Originally I wasn't digging the combo of nuts and hops. This beer pours out as a pretty nice looking brown color with a decent head on it. The aroma is hoppy and a little sweet. The taste is decent, it's got a sweet nuttiness to it upfront then fades into a very bitter hoppy flavor. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and drinkable. Overall it was much better the second time around.

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