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 wmthorne
4.35/5  rDev +11%
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 AgingWarrior
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium dark brown with some red highlights and a nice foamy finger and a half head. Head has excellent retention and provides excellent lacing.

Smell is a mixture of dark malts and hops. It's a very interesting, and inviting mixture of scents.

Taste is smooth and malty like a good brown ale, but with a nice hop kick to it. The first hit on the tongue gives you the malty taste, then the hop kicks in med swallow and gives it a nice crisp finish.

Medium carbonation and medium bodied, Creamy mouth feel.

Very drinkable brew. I love the "hybrid" mixture of hops like an IPA with the dark malts of a brown ale. This brew went down very easily and I was wanting more.

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

a - poured a two-fingers thick tan and bubbly head into a tulip glass. the head billows nicely and left nice lace and sheeting throughout. the body was a dark copper color.
s - very hoppy for a brown w/ hints of grapefruit.
t - malty, nutty, earthy, hoppy with a sweet chocolatey finish.
m - smooth and creamy with a crisp bite.
d - what a great year-round beer.

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Photo of russpowell
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from chefmikeanderson, thanks Mike!

Pours an effervescent caramel with 3+ fingers of tan head. Stellar lacing & head retention

S: Pineyness & grapefruit, some caramel as this warms

T: Pineyness, grapefruit & toasty malt up front. Leafy hops, dryness, more grapefruit & a bit of caramel as this warms. finishes with flinty dryness, a hint of fruittyness, pineyness & more grapefruit, came real close to pulling a 5.0 here

MF: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation & excellent balance

Pretty easy to drink, shame I only have the one..This hop mix reminds me of PTE in many regards. Think west coast brown ale, well done Terrapin!

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Photo of CooperEllis
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Al's of Hampden into .3l tulip.

Is there a brown billiard ball? This looks like that. Shiny on the round part of the bulb, even tone, glimmering slightly in the light. Pour has a full, fluffy off white head, that leaves a slight lacing. Very sticky lacing.

Wonderful mixture of malts and pungent hops.

This is one of the most interesting and full flavored browns that I've had. There are nice layers of malt and hops flavors. The blend almost tasts like orange/mocha/espresso/flowers...
I really can't put my finger on the exact combination but it is generous with complexity without becoming a mess.

Good mouthfeel. For a true brown ale I believe this may be a bit light, a little IPAy. It is a bit oily.

I would happily drink this all day. I suppose a number of factors may way in this. Brown ale, a favorite stlye. IPA, a favorite style. Fresh as can be bottle. Without the intense hop characteristics I think I would enjoy just the true 'brown ale' aspect in a more english sense, but this is damn good in it's own repesct.


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Photo of ncvbc
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours somewhat murky, deep brown with reddish hues. Nice creamy head with excellent retention, leaving spots of lacing down the glass. Smell is pretty nice. Good mix of citrus hops and rich malts. Very well balanced. Taste provides a great range of flavors. Sugared citrus hops that aren't quite as powerful as I remember compared to the tap version. Nice addition of caramel, toffee, and a touch of chocolate. Also a hint of brown sugar reminiscent of what I've encountered with the BHM. Also a nutty flavor and some doughy bread at times. I think the malts are the winner here and that's a good thing. Some of the IBA I've had contain a bitterness that just doesn't sit well with the malt and detract from it. I think this is a top notch brew for the style and it's been done well by the boys at Terrapin.

MMAJYK sent me a sixer of this brew in a trade recently...thank you, friend!

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass at refrigerator temperature.

L - Ruby brown-to-deep brown color with a 2-finger thick and bubbly tan head. Pretty good retention, nice lacing. I was surprised when I poured this because I was expecting the usual golden hue of IPAs, but they do call this a “Brown IPA” after all.

S - This smells terrific. There’s definite hop fragrances of citrus, grapefruit, pine, and resin, but there’s also a very solid malt profile with biscuit, cereal, and even some roasted aromas. Very diverse-smelling beer.

T - Interesting blend of flavors here as the nose suggests. Starts with a caramel sweetness that blends into a bready and toasty malts. A bit of spicy hop bitterness creeps in towards the finish with citrus and pine flavors.

F - Medium-to-full-bodied, good refreshing carbonation, sticky and creamy and chewy mouthfeel, and a dry and bitter finish that gradually builds. Bitterness lingers for a nice amount of time, as does the citrusy and malty sweetness. No sign of alcohol except for a slight throat-warming sensation at the finish.

O - This is a very interesting and awesome beer. You could classify it as an brown ale or an IPA, but boxing it in either of those classifications doesn’t do it justice. It has the solid malt profile of a brown ale with the hop profile of an IPA. In the taste, these different flavors almost try to outdo each other but it never really gets to that point. The large malt profile adds to the mouthfeel of this beer tremendously; definitely one of the highlights of this brew. Of course, you don’t get the best of both styles with this beer, but I think this is as good as it gets when trying to combine a brown ale and an IPA. Definitely worth trying and I would definitely get it again.

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Photo of oberon
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Glad to finally try this,I heard great things about it and well for good reason.Poured into a standard pint glass a slight hazed deep chesnut brown with a clingy one finger white head that held for quite some time.What a great aroma a great mix of big piney,earthy,and citric hop mixed with a large caramel and slighty roasted malt base,great near balance but the hops win out.The mouthfeel was a little thin that is my only slight complaint,flavors are great.Big resiny pine mixed with citrus and herbal hop intertwining with a big firm somewhat sweet biscuity malt base that holds up well.A great interplay of flavors,Iam a hophead so this is defifnetly my kinda brown here.

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Photo of blakesell
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into an over sized English pint glass.
Thanks to Gary for leaving this behind after the party.

Appearance- Beer pours clear and brown with a substantial four finger head of foam that leaves ample lacing on the sides of the glass. The leftover foam is creamy and tan brown very similar to a stout. About the most impressive looking brown I've ever seen.

Smell- Excellent smelling, strong English brown scent with a strong citrus laden hop presence. Pine hops are also present, very welcome. The hops only increase as the beer warms and leans more toward the American IPA category, well described as the new brown IPA style.

Taste- Toasted bready, very nice and similar to an English brown upfront on flavor. The hops immediately come in afterward providing an excellent contrast that I wish I had a cheese to go along with. Finish is like Samuel Smith Brown mixed with Bells two hearted. Amazing.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, oh so creamy, toasty, hoppy, medium in carbonation, full bodied, lightly warming.

Drinkability- Worth obtaining a six pack of, worth obtaining a twelve. I could drink this and be happy for the rest of the summer.

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Photo of Thiestru
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into my Terrapin pint glass.

Appearance: Ruddy brown with a tan, creamy head. Good lacing and retention.

Smell: A floral, hoppy aroma with sweet, biscuity malts underneath.

Taste: Exactly like the smell. It's like a nut brown ale that had a bunch of hops dumped in it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, just right for the style.

Drinkability: I was skeptical, but this turned out to be a really enjoyable beer. I have two more, happily. Definitely a drinker.

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Photo of shand
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.

This pours a very deep brown, bordering on black until held up to the light. It has a modest off-white head that retains fairly well. The nose on this is quite a good one. A perfect balance between piney hops and roasted malts. The taste on this is that of a super-smooth brown ale at first with nice roasty malts and coffee flavors, then some hop resins come in at the end to balance out the whole show. The hop character becomes more apparent as it warms. It's good!

The mouthfeel is alright, it's just a little bit thin but otherwise spot-on, and the drinkability is absolutely fantastic. I could drink these all night. A great brew from Terrapin and a great example of the style. Highly recommended.

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Photo of n00tz
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Burgundy-brown body, tan head with lace, no carbonation to speak of.. but poured a very sexy presentation topped with head.

S - Floral, Citrus and Pine hops are all resonating above the sweet malts. Wow, the fact that I could pull all of those scents out of a brew on first wiff is amazing. Second wiff only pulls more sweet malts out and I think I sense some coffee malts.

T - Definetly has some coffee bitterness on the palate, but it matches the citrusy pine hops well. Terrapin has some good research put into this brew: the malts present themselves subtly but it works for the overall goal of this india style brown ale.

M - leaves a bit of bitterness after the swallow, but the sweet malts show first and a bit of sweet malty body on the burp as well. Clean

D - Terrapin is impressing me, I'm really looking forward to more, particularly if they have some in my favorite styles. This one has a lot of character, on both the malty and bitter hops side of a brew. Highly recommended.

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Photo of DrJay
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a reddish hue and a short tan cap. Bubbles clung to the sides of the glass and stuck around for quite a while. Whoa! Pungent hop aroma, lots of fruity and resinous grapefruit rind, but there's still some malt that peeks through, nutty and toasty with a bit of toffee. The flavour had the same great balance of hops and malt. Bitterness wasn't overly high, but the grapefruit and resin was solid throughout. Malts tended towards toffee and caramel, giving it a rich, balancing sweetness, with notes of nuts and biscuit as well. Hops lingered in the finish, along with increased bitterness. Medium bodied with an average carbonation level, but the CO2 was nicely integrated and gave the texture a bit of creaminess. Excellent balance makes this an easy drinking beer - and one that I'll happily have again.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Tyler's in Durham.

Body is a rusted, auburn hue, similar to a hazy pint of iced tea. The head is small, but a quick swirl of the pint produces a thin layer of golden-tan foam that retains quite well. The aroma packs the hoppiest punch that I've ever encountered with a Brown Ale. Grapefruity citrus, juicy red grapes, toffee malt, and a hint of pine put the olfaction into overdrive. I know it's not what the style is famous for, but damnit, bring on the hops!

Ask and ye shall recieve. The flavor here is unmistakably sweet and hoppy as hell. Bittersweet grapefruits, candied malt, caramel, toffee, and a touch of chocolate coat the palate, but only after a fresh, piney hop note nips the front of the tongue. Remember how that first homebrew smelt when you added a few ounces of hops to the boil? Fresh. Resinous. Delicious. The mouthfeel is great too, very appropriate for the style and bitterness, with a light carbonation and body. I'd gladly have this again, and I lament over the fact that bottles of Terrapin's India Brown Ale aren't distributed to NC (at least not that I've seen).

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

65 IBUs, 5 different hops and 7 different malts, per Dustin at Terrapin Beer Company.

Rich and brown in color, hazy in appearance. Decent head of tan, but quickly dissipated into a thin lace. Amazingly spicy notes of hop goodness in the nose with some dark sugar action.. Nice balance on the palate with flavors of roasted malts dancing with the spritey hops. Smooth if not velvety. I would have expected it to be otherwise with the grain bill being what it is. Nice finish indeed. Hardly a malt bomb or hops sludge - as balanced a brew of this nature that I have had in some time.

I am excited to finally get this one. Brews like this are the reason why the demise of the South-Atlantic beer scene had been greatly exaggerated.


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Photo of qchic
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium brown not unlike cola, with reddish highlights. Modest ecru head. Aroma is a battle between citrusy, peppery hops and dark bready malts. This reminds me more of rye bread more than any actual rye beer I've had, with distinct notes of caraway seed. The hops seem more aggressive in the flavor, with plenty of citrus and pine, backed by roasty malts, caramel, almond, and molasses. A touch of fruitiness makes this one even more fascinating, and while there is so much going on, this medium-bodied brew is quite easy to drink. A fun, tasty hybrid. Recommended!

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Photo of jacobseyb
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A=Pours a nice dark amber with a slight head that dissipates quickly.

S=Hoppy grapefruits and some bitterness, nice aroma consistent with the style

T=very nice hoppyness balanced with malts, fruity citrus flavors and bitterness are not overwhelming

M=good, not too carbonated

D=very drinkable and not to alcoholic, keeps the beer quite sessionable.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap into nonic.

Ruby tint under a dark brown, one finger head which settles to a foamy cap. Sticky ringed lacing along the glass.

The aroma is mostly malt with a little bit of hopiness. For the taste, the malts are smooth and creamy with a touch of caramel. On the other side the hops are sharp and linger to the end. Medium bodied with good carbonation to go along with a good pour. The alcohol can be detected as the beer warms.

This beer almost has two personalities. One is a sweet and smooth malt side, the other is a sharp biting hop side. This was a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of plfahey
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance-Cherry-wood brown red with excellent clarity. Pours with a tall light khaki head with good retention.

Aroma-Wow this smells good. Sticky pine and resin hops complement toast and bread crust malt. Neither overwhelms the other-the balance is sublime.

Flavor-Awesome hop flavor up front, with pine and resin leading the charge. As the flavor unfolds, sweet brown malt, with awesome toast and dark bread crust characteristics emerge. Lighter notes of chocolate play in the background. Finishes moderately dry with exquisite balance between piney hops and toasted malt. Hop bitterness is medium low, growing to medium in the finish. Delicious.

Mouthfeel-Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth.

This beer defines balance. An interesting style, this is probably the best dark IPA I’ve ever had. Fan-fucking-tastic.

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Photo of B891
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a clean glass. Rich, dark color topped with a thin creamy white head which lingers for a while. Nice lacing.

Smells of chocolate, malt, and some floral hints. Also of note is the compelling hoppiness.

The taste backs up the aroma. There is a slight bite from the hops which leads to the creamy chocolate and malt. Being a relatively strong beer, %6.2, the alcohol doesn't present itself very strongly. There is also a faint presence of pine.

The beer fells very good on the tongue, not too heavy. The drink-ability may be this beers standout quality. It is so smooth and goes down so well it leaves you wanted another sip.

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Photo of porterwoobie
4.47/5  rDev +14%
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 donmonkey1
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
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 NCBeernut
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this at the Raleigh world beer fest and was blown away. Pours dark brown, that glows with clarity in the light. Sticky light khaki head caps it off. Delicious citrusy IPA hop character with piny notes as well, mixed with a chocolaty nutty brown ale malt character. The result is amazing. Smooth creamy mouthfeel with a perfect level of carbonation. I am really glad they started bottling this great brew.

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Photo of AEK
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

335ml brown bottle poured into a Young's branded pint pot. B.B Date 2nd week in November, not sure what year, possibly an '09.

A. A clear brown ale with a nice tanned head. Head retention was excellent and remained until the final drop.

S. Coffee, chocolate, raisins and a long finish reminiscent of Fry's Turkish Delight toffee.

T. Chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and a long finish reminiscent of Fry's Turkish Delight toffee. A nice bitter finish.

M. Medium bodied, chewy.

D. VERY ADDICTIVE!! I wouldn't moan if this was all I had to drink, possibly the tastiest brown ale I have had. I was given this at a relative's birthday party. When I looked at the freshness date, it only stated the week and month. A real gem and a beer that is well worth trying if you can track it down. Good stuff indeed.

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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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