Terrapin Gamma Ray | Terrapin Beer Company

very good
353 Reviews
Read the review
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 353 | Ratings: 471
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a sizzling brown, with lace sheets. Wheat aromas.Above average mouthfeel. Good drinkability, complex, did not need the honey sweetness except for popularity. Citrus orange. Bitter more than sweet. Big booze well hidden. Bread in a bottle.Understated carbonation.

 268 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Centennial for sending me this one!

Label states 10.8% ABV not the 11% listed on BA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a very thin 1/2 inch tan head that fades to nothing. No lacing whatsoever. The first smell I am getting on this one is banana bubblegum, wheat, and some honey aromas. Taste is of banana, clove/spice, and some honey notes on the finish. There is a spice aftertaste that lingers on the tongue. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slight crispness and a sticky mouthfeel. There is a noticeable alcohol burn in the throat with each sip. Overall, this is a pretty good beer and one of the few wheatwines I have tried. This one definitely has a wheat beer on steroids thing going on.

 720 characters

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at Rustico Restaurant & Bar, Alexandria, VA

A: The beer poured golden yellow in color with lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There is a moderate aroma of wheat and earthy hops.
T: The taste is somewhat sweet and has flavors of bananas and honey along with notes of wheat and yeast.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a low amount of carbonation. There is some warming from the alcohol.
D: The beer is very drinkable because the alcohol content is very well hidden.

 499 characters

Photo of brentk56
2.97/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is the Side Project #3...

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey (what else!) color with a modest head that quickly fades to a film and fails to lace

Smell: Mead-like and boozy, with a sweet apple aspect

Taste: Starts out sweet and mead-like with a growing sweet apple element that is joined, mid-palate by a lot of alcoholic warmth; after the swallow, the sweetness dominates

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation and a lot of heat both during and after the swallow

Drinkability: I would have thought this one would have aged far better than it did; just way too sweet and boozy for me

 594 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a slightly hazy deep copper color ale with a rather large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of honey and deep wheat malt is quite enjoyable. Taste is a nice mix between some sweet wheat malt with traces of honey without being excessively sweet in a gross way. Full body with good carbonation and alcohol is very well hidden. Way too easy to drink but still showing some great complexity.

 427 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a slightly hazy, orange color with gold highlights. It had a small head of white bubbly foam that left some sudsy rings of lace.

S - It smelled of wheat and a spicy heat. There were fruity notes, too (apple and pear).

T - It hits you with wheat and honey. There is a touch of banana and a good deal of spiciness and clove.

M - It was crisp and very sharp with a dry finish. A medium bodied ale with a potent alcohol heat.

D - This is a really good wheatwine. It is good that it was a 12oz beer, though, cause it is a strong easy drinking brew.

 562 characters

Photo of oline73
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a tasting glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy reddish amber with hardly any head at all.

Smell: Sweet bready malt with lots of banana.

Taste: Really sweet. Bready malt with strong banana note. Some warm alcohol in the finish. The sweetness dominates everything.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with mild carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: I enjoyed the banana notes, reminded me of a hefe. A bit sweet, but still good.

 461 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: pours a slightly-clouded yellow with a decent white head.

S: some dryness from the wheat comes through but the overall levels of sweetness really come through with a lot of honey.

T: very sweet with a ton of honey and some very mild fruit flavors. A bit cloying.

M: medium body and somewhat syrupy.

D: really affected by the sweetness levels; not something I could really enjoy more than 4oz. or so of.

 409 characters

Photo of mothman
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Bruery snifter.

Pours hardly any head. Color is hazed orange hued gold.

Aroma: Right off the top is a massive amount of honey. Lots of wheat and clove flavors. There seems to be some oak flavors in this beer. This beer is huge, but sweet.

Taste: Not as big of a flavor as the aroma would make you think. Lots of honey, wheat, and cloves. It reminds me of a massive weizen beer. Some spices in the mix as well.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, smooth, and refreshingly drinkable. I can see this drinking well on a hot summer day. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends very dry and sweet.

Overall, this is a pretty unique, but great beer. It reminds me of a huge hefe with honey added. The beer is massive and packs some big flavors. It is drinking a little slow, but I do like it. Very happy I got to try it.

 836 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of white head on a slightly hazy, golden-orange body. The head settles quickly and leaves relatively little lace.

S - Spicy wheat with a hint of vanilla and a big yeast note of clove with banana in the background.

T - Sweet maltiness with lots of tangy wheat. Some moderate citrus and herbal hop flavors in the middle with minor clove from the yeast. The finish is full of wheat flavor along with some tangy citrus flavors and minor hop bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - An interesting attempt at an unusual style, but not particularly drinkable. The aroma is very nice, and hints at a lot of potential in this beer, but the flavor falls flat. It is too sweet and becomes cloying and difficult to drink rather quickly. The sweetness also covers up a lot of the complexity that the aroma hints at. I would love to see a dryer version of this beer in the future, but I think this is a one-off that they won't be revisiting.

 979 characters

Photo of oberon
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an oversized wine glas a hazy auburn color with a well formed one finger white head that left patchy lace behind as it settled.A complex mix of phenolic spice and smoke to go along with notes of raisin and sweet alcohol,alomost like a spiced rum.Quite sweet on the palate,the mass quantity of honey shows itself, it gets a bit sticky after awhile, brown sugar and raisin mixed with stinging alcohol hits with a leather-like finish.Silky smooth mouthfeel to this beer but the alcohol can get to ya no doubt,still a good nitecap brew.

 544 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a goblet. Thanks to Barscream for the split on this.

Pours a hazy golden orange with a thin covering of foamy brite-white head. A wispy retention remains that stays fairly solid, leaving some decent swathes of lace back. The aroma starts off with some yeasty banana notes, clove, fruity esters, and floral hops before moving into some honeyed sweetness and wheat maltiness. All of that sweetness combines with some boozy accents to give off a somewhat medicinal smell.

The taste is thankfully coming off as a bit smoother to me with sweet and tangy notes of honey, wheat, and citrus, with backing accents of peppery clove, yeast, and some moderate bittering hops that pull up the back and help even out some of the sweetness. Nice. Very complex yet fluid overall on the palette, with all of the flavors being very well integrated into one another. The mouthfeel is full bodied and viscous with a pretty darn overall sleek feel to it. And that 11% ABV is terrifically well hid. Maybe some warmth creeps in towards the back of the feel but for the most part I'm getting none of it. Very nice!

I don't have a ton of experience with Wheat Wines but this was good. The alcohol in the nose was a little off-putting at first but the taste and feel were extremely well balanced and silky smooth. Complex and tasty, this was a solid sipper. Nice entry in the Side Project series.

 1,394 characters

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.

 913 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an opaque (though it clears considerably upon hitting room temp), deep honey-hued body with a thin, short-lived, white head.

Smell: Candyish, honey-soaked nose with a distinct, tangy, toasted wheat component and notes of spice, white wine, and chewing gum.

Taste: Both sweet and tangy, with a honey-glazed crisp wheat flavor and taste of sweetened and clove-spiced banana juice. Hint of gum and beeswax. Splash of sauvignon blanc. Restrained hop bitterness. Very slight chaff huskiness. A touch of warming alcohol on the back end. Finishes sweet and spicy with a lingering white wine taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Some stickiness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Pretty tasty! I'll admit to liking it more than I thought I would. Goes down about as easy as an 11% ABV wheatwine brewed with honey possibly can.

 856 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich honey gold with bumblebee borders. An attractive chunk of ivory colored cream sits atop the sunshine bright liquid, melts in fine fashion and graces the glass with tattered sheets of sea foam lace. This is exactly how a honey-added wheatwine should look.

The nose is reminiscent of a Belgian tripel without the Belgian yeast esters. It's ripe golden fruity and pale malty sweet, with a good bit of herbal-earthy hoppiness (courtesy of Perle and Mt. Hood hops). 40 IBUs is more than respectable. Despite the addition of 700 lbs of Tupelo and Sourwood honey, honey isn't appreciated per se. Here's hoping it makes an appearance on the palate.

In addition to esterless tripel, several other comparisons come to mind: high-quality malt liquor, high-quality Euro strong lager and pale-malted barleywine. Each of those is to be expected given the ingredients and the ABV. Honey adds a candi sugar-like sweetness... and still doesn't bowl me over in terms of flavor.

Specifics include pears and apples soaking in their respective fruit brandies, a surprising hint of tangy wheat and a dollop of honey. Even though there isn't a ton of character here, I tend to like this general blueprint better than some others. Check to make sure your Big Beer Lovers membership is paid up before taking the bomber home.

Alcohol is a part of the flavor profile, but it isn't raw or hot in the least. Maybe the time that has passed since the release has had something to do with that. Interestingly, the Terrapin website says that GR is now (or will be) one of their new summer seasonals. It isn't exactly a lawnmower beer, now is it?

The mouthfeel is medium-full with a hint of viscosity and a respectable amount of hang-on. The bubbles do their thing without making a nuisance of themselves. The result is no rough edges and as much smoothness as the ABV will allow.

Regarding the Side Project Series of beers, neither RoggenRauchBier (Volume 2) nor Dos Cocoas Chocolate Porter (Volume 4) impressed me. Gamma Ray (Volume 3) is more in line with the rest of the Terrapin lineup in terms of quality. It won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm getting a fair amount of enjoyment out of the bomber.

 2,186 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.57/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to THECPJ for this bottle, gave it to me in the only actual trade we did.

A: Pours a bright, clear orange color. A small white head forms from the pour, but dissolves to nothing but a small ring around the edge. No lacing at all.

S: Extremely sweet. A good bit of banana, some apple, and lot of honey. A hint of alcohol as well.

T: Cloyingly sweet from the honey. A little bit of banana and apple and a bit of clove spiciness. A little bit of sweet caramel rounds out the malt bill.

M: Very syrupy, and on the thicker side. Slight alcohol presence and there is a little bit of heat as it goes down.

O: Pretty good, not my favorite flavor profile, so far beers heavy in honey aren't really my thing, but this one is better than most. Drinkability is decent considering the ABV.

 792 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in NC

Pours orange/amber with a sliver of peach colored head. Nice viscosity to this, some lacing, zero head retention

S: Pears, white grape juice, & juicy fruit gum

T: Follows the nose up front. More of the same as this warms along with dryness, green banana & lemony hops,slight woodyness, (maybe the sour wood honey??) butterscotch/honey notes as this warms, along with some booze warmth. Finishes warming, with juicy fruit, dry with much honey notes & green banana (a bit too much IMO)

MF: Medium bodied, warming with semi-assertive carbonation.

rinks pretty easy for the ABV, but the complexity hurts a bit. This would've been better suited for January, but I couldn't resist

 701 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

alex's contribution tonight, i ended up having half this one as he could not stand it. i really did not think it was that bad to be honest, a nice and well rounded beer.

Poured a nice light burnt amber with a nice big frothy head. Great head retention and a good bit of lace on the glass. Smell was lightly hopped, but full of grain and fruit notes, apricots maybe? Lots of malt. First taste impression was very smooth, lots of carbonation and a great light feel. Slight hint of alcohol, but hardly noticeable. lots of almost sweet like honey notes in the finish and syrupy feel cap it off.

overall not ba, like i said did not steal the show but i was pleased with it overall.

 678 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Al's of Hampden for sale in the mix-a-six cooler. Twelve ounce brown bottle poor slightly cooler than cellar temp into a goblet.

The appearance is a sunny amber like pear juice with honey like hues with great clarity and good head retention. The wheatwine has a tiny bead and is visibley carbonated The head is snow white with tiny slow moving bubbles in the liquid with some spots of lace sticking. The smell is sweet with notes of bubblegum and banana with a slight spice accent. The mild scent of white grape adds to the aroma w/ hint of pear adding dimension. The feel is viscous and strong with semi-sweet and slightly fruit tinged in texture w/ spice hints from the hops and subtle tangy berry in the residual taste w/ lively carbonation bringing some levity to the overall body of the brew.

The taste is sweet bordering on syrupy w/ subtle fruity and candy-like flavorsw/ light spiciness and alcohol w/ mild hint of grain flavor from wheat. The slight dry taste is augmented by herbal flavor yet the yeast adds a lot of tropical sweetness and is similar to pineapple and banana with a lot coming from the high alcohol level. Drinkability is lower than some in the style, yet a pretty solid wheatwine w/ flavors that aren't timid - the only thing holding the Gamma Ray back is it is pretty strong in alcohol flavor and the sweetness can become cloying after a whole 12oz. I guess it hits what it aims for since it is in the 'Monster Beer' series of theirs, though.

 1,495 characters

Photo of billab914
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. Poured a deep orange color with a thin spotty white lacing. Very cool looking beer, I love the color.

The aroma is strong with wheat, honey and banana. The wheat has a bready and malty flavor while the honey comes through with a bit more sweetness. It has a nice citrus, almost tropical flavor to it as well. A bit of alcohol but not too bad.

The taste shows the bready and fruity wheat flavors right off the bat. It has a heavy dose of banana with a lighter citrus flavor to it. The honey shows through with a nice sweetness. The finish has a bit of bitterness to help it from becoming too sweet. Alcohol is covered pretty well considering the abv%.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side and carbonation is below average. A very nice mouthfeel for a big beer like this. Drinkability is great for me, I really enjoyed it. I loved the wheat and honey flavors and they came together very nicely. I loved this beer overall, but I typically like big wheat beers. Excellent beer overall in my opinion.

 1,051 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jer for sharing this one.

A: The pour is a slightly hazy golden yellow color with a thin layer of white foam.

S: The nose is incredibly sweet with plenty of fruity esters. The honey is very noticeable and provides a nice sweet and floral quality. There are also some nondescript sweet fruits and possibly some banana.

T: Like the nose, there's plenty of sweetness here. The honey once again comes through as do some notes of apple and banana along with a mixed bag of other fruit flavors.

M: The body is medium with a low carbonation. However, the lack of carbonation gives it an almost syrupy feel at times.

D: A nice beer and a style that I haven't had too many of. I enjoyed the contribution of the honey to this beer and the fruitiness was unexpected.

 770 characters

Photo of orangesol
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Deuane for opening this one for us. The original Side Project 3 release in a foil-wrapped bottle.

A - Pours golden yellow with a nice one finger tall white head leaving light lace down the glass.

S - Smells of strong wheat grain, honey, dulled orange rind, and some bready malt. This one screams honey wheat beer from the rafters.

T - Starts off with the typical wheat beer chewiness quickly giving way to a mix of honey sweetness, orange peel, and some light spice. It is pretty sweet and chewy throughout. The finish is more of the same, chewy sweetness lingering through the finish.

M - Medium-Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Chewy, sweet, feel with plenty of it lingering through the finish.

O - Not too bad but not really my cup of tea either. The sweetness helped to cut down on the chewiness but it was still a bit much.

 859 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours a hazy golden orange with minimal head. The smell is akin to a hefeweizen, with some wheat, lemon, and banana, but with an added sweet honey tone and a dash of nutmeg. The honey comes through greatly in the taste, joined by the banana, cloves, a twinge of bitterness, and an underlying bit of romaine lettuce. The body is decidedly beefy, with a low amount of carbonation and a thickly smooth feel. My first step in the wheatwine direction, and I must say I am excited to seek out others!

 529 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

a - Pours a murky orange color with light carbonation evident. About an inch of white head with no retention.

s - Smells strongly of wheat. Also a little bit of honey, pine, bananas, and spices.

t - I thought bananas were the main taste here. Also tastes of some orange, wheat, honey, and a little bit og booze.

m - Medium body with low carbonation. Smooth and feels great.

d - I thought this was a pretty good wheatwine. I enjoyed the banana smell and taste was very enjoyable and thought it was very smooth and surprisingly easy to drink considering the high ABV. I would definitely have this again.

 653 characters

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.

 801 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Terrapin Gamma Ray from Terrapin Beer Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 471 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.