Terrapin Gamma Ray | Terrapin Beer Company

very good
353 Reviews
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Terrapin Gamma RayTerrapin Gamma Ray

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: Wheatwine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally Side Project #3 released in 22oz bottles, now the summer seasonal on Terrapin's Monster beer tour and available in 12 oz bottles by the 4 pack.

Added by Georgiabeer on 10-09-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 353 | Ratings: 471
Photo of Ohiovania
4.37/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2011. This has turned into a mead/ wheat wine at this point. It was nice when it was fresh but it has aged into something really nice. Hope they release this again in the future.

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Photo of Dreizhen
4.48/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle that was cellared for three years. Poured into a Terrapin snifter.

Appearance: Dark gold with a tint of orange. Much prettier than any of those college football oranges (but hey, this is an Athens brew, what do you expect). Hazy. Little carbonation.

Smell: This shit is bananas, B A N A N A S. Seriously, bananas foster and some malt on the nose and then a lot more bananas.

Taste: Follows the nose exactly. Bananas and brown sugar (maybe demrara sugar...?) = bananas foster. Very rich. Slightly boozy, but the age and the richness mask it well. Maybe some slight caramel. In a weird way, tt seems to me like a blonde version of a Belgian Quad, even more than a Belgian Tripel. Swap the banana for the stone fruits and the demerara for the chocolate. This makes for a fantastic desert beer (at least the aged version).

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, somewhat coats the mouth. A little velvety.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.52/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Appearance: Slight haze on a burnt orange color. No head, no carbonation, nothing.

Smell: Sweet caramelized malt and enough honey to kill a bear. A touch of biscuit malt. Deeply cooked malt sugar. Very faint touch of citrus from the hops. Crazy sweet with toffee, brown sugar, and raw sugar. Crazy amounts of honey. Some orange flesh. Slight hint of wheat with some solid alcohol. A hint of alcohol spice as well.

Taste: Honey and a ton of cooked and caramelized malts. Runs caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and raw sugar. It's sweet and then some and the honey layers over it. Aggressively sweet, but not too overbearing. Warming changes all of that. Concentrated raw sugar with a tiny hint of roasted malt. Honey jelly. Faint vestiges of wheat and caramel malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Smooth and slick. Negligible carbonation. Clean, surprisingly.

Overall: The Hulk is now a diabetic.

Fresh, this came with a does of insulin. Aged, it's early onset.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
2.55/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle dated best by Nov. of an unspecified year. Probably the last bottling of this. Poured into a CBS snifter.

Appearance - Clear golden amber body. No head. No bubbles. Lots of legs. Looks sweet.

Smell - Honey and sugars dominate. Lots of light malts. Booze. Some hops. But it's all an afterthought to a sweet malt base.

Taste - Wheat is really an afterthought to this beer. Lots of ridiculously sweet malts. No complexity. Some harsh grainy aspects from the wheat. It's not pleasant to drink. Finishes sweet and just a bit bitter.

Mouthfeel - Sugary. Sweet and thick. Boozy still. Ugh. Nothing off about it, but just really sweet and one-dimensional.

Overall - Nothing interesting here. A glass of sugar. Some wheat comes through but it's mostly sugar. I'm glad they discontinued this.

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Photo of jtierney89
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure of the age on this bottle but its at least a year and a half. Has notches for best by but without a year on it, and at 11% I can't see this thing really going bad.

Golden amber color with impressive clarity. 2 finger active white head falls away to a lace rather quickly. Miscarriage grapes and honey on the nose with lots of fruit including cherries strawberries and melon.

Almost reminds me of a big Belgian brew. Sweet exotic berry fruits up front. Touch of wheat adds a bit of roundness to the big thick body. Dark fruits and thick honey like taste on the finish coats the throat, alcohol barely noticeable. Caramel rides along the tongue with spicy herbal flavors and.due berries and fruits including apples and pears.


Age has really let the complexity of this beer shine with lots of subtle.fruit flavors that all balance each other our without being too sweet. Alcohol is there but barely plays a part. Honey soothed the throat. If you can find a bottle pick it up!

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Photo of SteveTheBeave
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Growler from Cumming Beverage and Growler Shop
Cumming, GA

A: Golden orange but cloudy

S: Strong banana smell, overpowering

T: Banana and spice, strong alcohol flavor

M: Medium body, near flat with low carbonation

O: Beer was average, strong alcohol flavor (11% ABV),

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Photo of siege06nd
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic pint...

A. Pours a very cloudy orange color with a finger and a half of crisp white head. Head quickly dies down to a half finger, but it lasts for the duration. Pretty solid lacing. Very good, loving the color and the contrast with the super white head.

S. Super sweet, with loads of honey, cherry, prune, grape, maybe some banana, and brown sugar. Notes of apple and pineapple. Basically a saccharine bomb with lots of juicy fruit.

T. Follows the nose pretty closely with honey, bread crust, brown sugar, apple, and banana. Pretty good flavor profile here. Sweetness is very aggressive, but I'm pretty sure that is too style. Booze is well-hidden for 11.0% and the fruit flavors are distinct if not strong. Quite nice.

M: This is undercarbed and a little one note. Needs a bit more complexity and some roast or grain balance to counter what is a borderline overwhelming fruit presence. The flavors are good, would just like to see them spread out more. Thick and cloying.

O: For style, this is one of the better wheatwines I have had. That being said, I wouldn't reach for this again and again. It doesn't look like many other people did either, which is why this is currently retired. Drinks a lot like carbonated fruit juice with a little booze kick, but the cloying sweetness seems appropriate for the wheatwine style. I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of biegaman
3.13/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gamma Ray doesn't look all that electromagnetic or radiant. All its carbonation has since long decayed and, if not for all its cosmic particles (aka the chunks of muddy sediment) being cautiously left at the bottom of the bottle, it would look completely like sludge. As it stands, however, this golden-amber beer looks like cognac.

I've come to expect when seeing honey listed as an ingredient cloying sweetness and, more often than not, spicy alcohol vapors. This bouquet is abundant in both and features little else. Aside from a vaguely earthy and floral honey quality, the beer's aroma has a commanding presence without showcasing any redeeming flavor.

I still see liquid in my glass - and I sure as hell smell alcohol coming from it - but the flavour all seems to have disappeared. Granted, I might have over-estimated the preservative powers of Gamma Ray's honey and 11% alcohol but it's hard to imagine this ever having featured any other characteristics. This is a startlingly thin, plain and potent beer.

Gamma Ray is less a monster than it is a skeleton. There's no meat on these bones. A little less alcohol and we might have a simple quaffing golden ale. A little more alcohol and the faintness of golden raisins and orchard fruit might come to life. This is too digestif-like to be beer but too beer-like to be digestif. Complete oxidization helps nothing.

Terrapin is an excellent brewery that I'm sure had high expectations for Gamma Ray. Unfortunately, something with the recipe just didn't quite pan out. While the Savannah Bee honey has a lovely flavor that I'd hate to take away from, I think future batches will need more hops and much more malt if they are to really be enjoyable.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.69/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampling a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter. The beer has been in my basement for about 2 years waiting to be consumed on a night just like tonight.
The beer pours a bright clear copper to almost gold hue with loud fizzy carbonation that froths up about 1 cm of rocky eggshell white head that fades rapidly to a sturdy edge layer and wispy islands.
Aroma is sweet and fruity with peaches and pears and a bit of floral honey mixed in. Ironically I have some Savannah Bee Company at my desk at work and it was used in this beer.
I dont get any hops or booze on the nose.
First sip reveals a sticky textured fairly thick bodied brew with very fine and spacious carbonation.
Flavor is what the nose advertised with sweet fruity malt dominating the profile. I get peaches, pears, caramel, and some white grapes. There is just a little booze on the finish, but the beer is VERY dangerously drinkable and I am finishing this bottle waaay to fast to be good for my sobriety. Good thing Im just going to bed after this review.
Im not sure if this was hot when it was young, but it is excellent right now. If you stashed a bottle, send it to me, or at least enjoy it now!

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Photo of Ungertaker
3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a DC Brau tulip.

A- Poured a clear amber with minimal white head that leaves no lacing.

S- Banana bread, honey, caramel

T- Liquid banana bread with a generous amount of honey. A slight astringency lingers at the finish.

M- Thin to medium with very little carbonation.

O- A delicious offering. A little sweeter than I would normally pursue, but I would gladly make an exception to enjoy this again!

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Photo of PatDreadful
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the cellar. Vintage 2/2009. Drank it on the 3 year anniversary. Poured into a DFH Chalice while listening to 'Where is my mind?' by The Pixies.

Appearance: Heavy wheat haze muddles up the the honeycomb color of the beer which is expected from the style. Very minimal head retreats rather quickly, I attribute this to the cellaring and the ABV.

Smell: Think sweet- honey, caramel, and unfermented wort (almost syrup-like) completely dominate the nose. It really lets you know what is in store.

Taste: Wow, the honey really dominates the initial taste. This slowly gives way to a very pleasant caramel malt flavor. Not heavily toasted but cooked enough to get that nice cloying sweetness out of the malt. The ABV is very well hidden as the sweetness really overpowers it, leaving it to linger in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: No carbonation to speak of due to the extended cellaring. I think the lack of carbonation excentuates the heavy body which is slightly unpleasant. Of course, I can't blame the brewer for this.

A nice beer to drink on a winter evening while looking forward to spring. High ABV warms while the wheat gets you thinking of the spring.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A= Deep amber in color, Small white head that diappears rather quickly.

S= Smells like honey, a little wheat, and caramelized malts.

T= The honey really comes out in the taste it's really strong and the caramelized malts really have a nice backbone to this beer in the front of the beer. Then you get some wheat followed by a strong alcohol bite at the end of it. I thought this was basically a sweet beer with a strong alcohol taste.

M= Medium bodied, Light carbonation.

O= Overall I haven't had many wheatwines this was a a good one it was a little bit on the sweet side but overall a decent beer and different from what I normally have.

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Photo of Holland
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a clear amber with minimal head, only lacing and an edge to it.

S: smells of caramel, bread, and a slight spicy yeast. Lot of banana as it warms.

T: definitely a beer I appreciate as different. The taste is more yeast-heavy than the others, with some spice on the back end and fruity flavor on the front end like banana. The caramel and bread are the a bit.

M: medium carbonation, which is more than I expected from the appearance, but it's also very smooth and fairly heavy.

O: This beer is banana bread as a beer. Wonderfully different. I wonder if they brewed it with banana or if the yeast produced banana-like esters. Solid beer, about $2.50 a bottle, but difficult to find.

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Photo of ummswimmin
2.92/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this bottle down in Florida, and I wanted to try something different.

I poured this into a pint glass. It was an amber color with almost no head, just a tiny bit of film.

In the bouquet I get honey and wheat. There is some vinous quality. On the side of the glass this beer was pretty sticky.

The taste is a mouthfull of sweetness; almost like a cross between mead and beer. That said, I really don't like this beer. It isn't pleasant. The flavor was really heavy, like a punch to the face.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy peach colored glass glows comely and warm.

Smell: Rich honey and white grape sweetness with heady whiffs of alcohol. Some rum raisin aspect as well.

Taste: Sweetness rushes toward overwhelming sugar bomb before drying out in an alcoholic mist. Rich flavor, has a Belgian Trippel yeastiness and a boatload of fruity grapes and pears.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body, medium low carbonation, slick texture.

Overall: Nice! The 11% is there, but it's well supported with a balanced beer that lets the yeast and esters really shine. A heavy sipper, but a very enjoyable one.

Big thanks to IlludiumQ36 for my 97th style reviewed!

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Photo of bobbypaulson
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

got this beer as an extra from a super generous trader. This beer was poured from a cool 12 oz bottle, I love all the terrapin labels (will always make a trade for some more terrapin brews!!!). pours a cloudy orange with NO head. I smell a ton of sweet honey with a kinda boozy wheat after smell. Taste is hot with a bunch of sweet honey, very thick in the mouth. This beer is nice but has some heat on it. Still very enjoyable because the honey really balances it nicely.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

picked this up the other day when in NJ.

a - opened and filed my cbs snifter. brew poured a pale yellow that settled more like an ipa. the head was gone in moments. lacing was slippery.

s - big citrus. big banana. big clove. some vanilla and wheat. some oak. lots of sweetness. super sweet.

t - wow. that's intense. banana in a word. boozy.

m - boozy. medium bodied.

o - should be called banana ray. kind of a novelty. glad I grabbed a single since a 4 pack might be too much and glad I tried this. unique for sure.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Chad for sharing the original Side Project version of Gamma Ray. This is just over three years old now. Served in a Struise cervoise.

A - A half-finger of white foam settles to a thick collar, some wisps, and negligible lace. Lightly hazed orange-yellow body.

S - Wheat, honey, some citrus notes, yeast. The alcohol that I remember from this beer seems to have disappeared and I think it's an improvement, however a lot of the spicy yeast character has also faded away.

T - Taste is again quite mellow, although a touch of alcohol shows up in the finish. Otherwise it's similar to the aroma, with cereal grains, oranges, pale malts, and a touch of honey.

M - Lower carbonation, medium-full body, slightly grainy texture. Not much alcohol heat present.

D - Well - three years certainly blunted much of the alcohol. However a lot of the complexities of the fresh beer have also been smoothed over. I still haven't a wheatwine that I've really enjoyed (unless it's been obliterated by adjuncts or bourbon barrels), so I'm guessing this style just isn't for me.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Says it's best enjoyed by the first week of November. Whaddya know? It just so happens to be.

A- From a strong pour, I only get an 1/8 inch of white head which quickly dissipates to just a small splotch of bubbles surronding not even half the circumference of the glass. A bit of lacing is a surprise. After a few minutes there are no bubbles besides the tiny ones rising from the bottom. Dark gold color.

S- Smells sweet which is to be expected since it's brewed with honey. Has a stiff nose with notes of plum, fermented white grape juice (hence the wine part of the style), apple, a slight bit of hard caramel and, in the tail end of the aroma, wheat.

T- Tastes pretty much like it smells. Alcohol is there but not too heavy. Sweetness also there, but not cloying. The wheat comes in next with the bit of malt character crossing the finish line last. Tastes kinda like one of the Dogfish honey beers (i.e. Midas Touch, Theobroma, Chateau Jiahu) only I could actually drink multiple of these without getting fed up with the taste.

M- Low carbonation with a slick mouthfeel makes this taste sort of like a mead. The alcohol burn only really comes through when I swish which is definitely a plus.

O- Wheatwine is a relatively new style that's had mixed results. So far, the best ones I've had have been Smuttynose's and Brooklyn's but this one's not bad either. It's quite easy to drink considering how high of an ABV it has which makes this beer somewhat dangerous. It also makes it favorable to have 2 or 3 if you get a sugar craving like I occasionally do.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into snifter.

Appearance: a glowing orange bodied beer that is transparent. This beer has practally head after an aggressive pour. A small white ring that goes around the outside of the glass is the only resemblance of head.

Smell: Strong banana notes that are complimented by a sweet smell of honey. Cloves are noted in the back of the massively sweet smell of the banana and honey. Its really smells like a Hefewiezen with honey added to it. Little bit of a hay smell to the beer as well probably from the wheat.

Taste: Bananas and clove upfront. The honey is not far behind. An overall moderate sweetness from this beer, but it is walking a fine line of almost being to sweet for my liking due to the strong banana notes. The honey and cloves do help to break up the banana notes and I enjoy the brewers use of honey in this beer. You get a bit of the wheat notes at the end, but its definately an after thought of this brew.

Mouthfeel: full bodied beer with low carbonation. Ultra smooth for such a huge beer. No booze noted at all; had to double check this beer is really 11%.

Overall: Solid beer by Terrapin. I am still learning the wheatwine style I think I have tried 3 wheatwines now and the Founders 2009 Nemesis is definately the front runner by miles. This beer was enjoyable.

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Photo of gopens44
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Somewhat mundane with an clear amber appearance. Head is muted at best with just a thin ring of fizz left on the surface.

S - My first thought was that there was something Belgian happening, but I quickly decided that my nasal quandary was based on the fact that I was picking up clove, banana and a little honey with a fairly strong alcohol presence wrapped all around.

T - Dead on to the smell. A touch hot but not overly so. Bold circus peanut taste balanced out by honey sweetness.

M - Well carbonated yet a firm body. A touch oily on the tongue with an aftertaste that seems a touch bitter and sweet.

O - Nothing too shabby here, as I was hoping for a diversion from everything else I had been drinking lately. Indeed it is different. Like a quad but lighter. Good beer.

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Photo of kennylopez
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: a orange amber color with a half fingers worth of head t.hat faded fast and left no film or lacing.

Smells: I smell a grassy wheat aroma that is quite sweet and a mild malt backbone.

Tastes: There is a sweet honey taste that has a floral hop that blends well with the tangy yeast that gives a lemon hint.

Mouthfeel: I do taste alcohol, but it is 10.8% and that being said it doesn't have a repulsive burn at all. In fact I feel like the upfront tingle actually sets me on a good path for picking out what comes after. There is little carbonation is this ale, but as I sip it it fizzles in my mouth leaving a tart crisp aftertaste.

Overall: I am happy I tried this beer, but feel like I have tasted a few wheat wine ales and this one doesn't really stand out in my opinion.

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Photo of match1112
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours out a deeep thick orange color with no head just a off white ring.

s: alochol, honey, wheat and malt

t: alochol is the first thing you get. after the burn settles down you taste the honey and sweet malts, then a little wheat in the background.

m: thick and chewy with a burn from the 10.8% .

o: pretty good wheat wine. thanks to exiled for sending this out as an extra!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Original Side Project release acquired from mikesgroove courtesy of Little Guy 2 BIF so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin on the glass.

S: The aroma contains honey, some wheat, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong honey & caramel sweetness that is quickly followed by some breadiness from wheat and a hearty malt character. There is also a strong alcohol bite. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, this is a decent beer but there are others in the style I would choose first.

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Photo of Suds
2.88/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer is a moderately dark, honey-gold color. It has a small head, slight haze, and a very alcoholic smell. There is a strong scent of honey, booze, and a bit of pale malt. Not much wheat is present in the smell. The taste, though, has a slick-sweetness, backed with some wheat twang. The sweet honey and alcohol is really over the top, and the beer becomes cloying. After the first few drinks, this is not an easy beer to drink. It's not overly complex, and it lacks balance. The beer is full in body, and a bit heavy. Interesting, but not for me.

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Terrapin Gamma Ray from Terrapin Beer Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 471 ratings.
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