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 tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange with a thin lacing of head. The nose has notes of wheat, straw, faint grapes, and faint apples. The taste is wheat and straw up front followed by grapes and a faint apple sweetness in the finish. There are mild hops for balance. The mouthfeel is light for the ABV, smooth, and mildly carbonated; slightly viscous.

Overall this isn't a bad beer, but the viscosity, sweetness, and the wheat intensity are a little too much for me.

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Photo of shawnsmith1
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a hazy amber gold into tulip with scant beige head which disappeared instantly.

S: Leads with banana, smoke, some clove, sweet malt. Later, grainy sweet wort invoking brew day.

T: Spicy and malty sweet.

M: Full bodied, with apparent high residual sugar. Lightly carbonated. Quick finish is sweet with a touch of alcohol warmth.

O: Reminiscent of a Belgian Strong Ale. Really enjoyed this one, although not a lot of complexity.

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Photo of shanblur
3.15/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this up on a trip to Atlanta. Bottle notched with best by 1st week of November. Poured from 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a hazy light orange with a minimal white head which leaves sparse lacing.

S - Mainly sweet malts with a spice component.

T - Sweetnes abounds from the onset. The honey is prominent and overpowers any other flavor.

M - Medium bodied with a light carbonation.

A very sweet beer. Not like any wheat beer I've had.

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Photo of DIM
3.66/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a dark golden color with amber highlights. It poured with a small big bubbled head.

s: Earthy tart wheat, lots of honey, sweet toffee, and a nice floral hop/heat combination. Bit-o-honey candy comes to mind.

t: Tasty but not all that complex. Sweet toffee and honey up front joined by flowery hops towards the middle. There is a lingering semi-tart wheat note.

m: Pretty near still, not bad for the style, but a bit more would have been nice.

o: One of the better examples of a style I have a hard time liking. Kind of one-dimensional, but I'd buy it again.

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Photo of Jerone
4.44/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a cloudy amber with some orange in it, one finger head that fades away, no lacing probably due to high alcohol.

Wow, the smell is of wheat, honey and orange. You get a bit of alcohol on the nose too, warms your nose a bit.

The taste goes from a sweet honey and banana then leaves a taste of wheat and tangerine in your mouth. The alcohol and the banana flavor works really well against each other and is one of the first times that I actually like the taste of the alcohol. Tons of flavor and all of it is delicious.

Hefeweizen on steroids is what this beer is, I will order or buy this beer for sure the next time I see it.

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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.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
2.69/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 8/23/11
*From notes

-- Thanks, Johnny Boy --

A: Unfiltered. It's quite a dark amber, with uninviting white, chunky floaties everywhere. A hefty pour yields a mere .5 finger head and no lacing.

S: It smells like mead. An overwhelming amount of honey fills my nostrils from the get-go.

T: Extremely sweet. And hot too - the alcohol on this thing is brash and unbalanced. It literally burns my windpipe on the way down. The wheat really comes through on the finish, which I don't feel pairs all too well with the honey. The more I drink, the harder it gets to put back, as it's simply too sweet.

M: For a beer this big, it's disappointing. Too sharp - the carbonation is forced a little too hard. The body is thin and flabby, allowing all of the brew's warts to show through.

O: Terrapin's Gamma Ray isn't one of the better wheatwines I've had, as it's way too sweet. The one note honey profile, thin body and icky appearance made it an easy choice to share with the ol' drain.

I don't foresee myself returning to this one, and recommend you look elsewhere as well.

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Photo of joeyd311
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First review, here goes

Bottle to pint glass

A: Hazy orangy red color, no head,

S: Banana, clove, sweet honey. Very pleasant.

T: Thick banana taste, followed by a sweet honey backbone with a slight alcoholic touch.

M: Smooth and velvety.

O: Introduction to this style. Was expecting a little more of a barleywine texture, but the wheat gives it a smoother feel.

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Photo of harrymel
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by: week 1, November 2011
10.8% ABV (deviant from BA description as of post).
A: Rolls out a rusty golden ale with no head production and a mirror surface. With agitation, a few light toasted bubbles hover momentarily. The beer is hazy with increased opacity near the center. No lace. Needs bubbles, needs lace.

S: Bananas, sugar, grass and maybe a hint of gardenia's; like a really high quality hefeweizen on roids. Actually quite pleasant. the honey doesn't really come through much for me, just barely perceptible.

T: Banana, clove, slight hint of coriander, the wheat is obvious and adds a slight spiciness I did not anticipate. Otherwise, again, this is like a hefe on roids. Not bad, but not particularly unique.

M: Thick and creamy with a resonating and appropriate finish which is velvety like a well aged Paso Robles Cab, well done.

O: This is admittedly my introduction to the style, and I kinda new what to expect. This is nice, and a decent night cap as I see it, but I wonder what would happen to this beer with time on it. I will have to try more of these to see what the trend is.

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

12oz bottle poured into snifter

Pours a hazed golden amber color with some lighter bright hues. A thin head dissolves quickly, leaving a collar of film around the glass; very little lacing.

Pretty fruit forward in the nose with pear and apple, and a decent helping of sweet honey. Syrupy malt and alcohol warmth.

Wheat and fruit mix together up front, with plenty of pear, apple, and a hint of citrus. Honey is pretty dominant with sticky, syrupy sweetness. Thick, heavy malt backbone with burnt sugar and some candied fruit notes. Finishes with a spike of booze and lingering sweetness.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, sticky, syrupy, and somewhat heavy on the tongue. Pretty interesting beer, although a little sweet and hot for my tastes.

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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.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful orange/brown color w/ a one finger cocoa head. Head quickly disappears into bubbles around the edge of the glass. Very cloudy looking, w/ minimal carbonation and lacing. Smell is interesting, w/ honey, pear, apple, alcohol, malt, brandy. Really sweet smelling brew. Taste is not as good for me. It's like drinking pear juice w/ a tiny bit of malt in it. Honey comes out as the beer warms. Mouthfeel is fairly thin, sweet and goes down easily. Overall, I was a little disappointed in this one. The idea and description sound great, but this beer doesn't quite pull it off. I enjoy the style, but this isn't the best I've had by a long stretch. Still, it's worth checking out if you like pear juice w/ honey.

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Photo of ReelBigwigFish
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shared a bottle of this with my boss at work today. Poured into clear plastic cups (classy? hell yes).

A: Slightly hazy golden color with minimal offwhite head.

S: HONEY, alcohol, yeast. Smells like a super strong super sweet belgian.

T: Sweetness all around. Honey flavors mixing with yeast, bananas, cloves, and more sweetness. Oh yeah, and lots of booziness. A little too sweet at times, but still an enjoyable taste.

M/O: Heavy, chewy, almost feels like you're drinking honey. Not a session beer at all. One is enough for a few days haha. I did like this beer, but definitely didn't love it. It's tough to rate this properly as I've never had another Wheatwine.

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Photo of eclipse54
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle from jyounger30. Date notching on the label suggests it is best consumed before the first week of November, and I'll gladly oblige. Into a DFH signature glass...

Pours a hazy, golden straw color with very little bubbly, eggshell-colored head. The body glows with some vibrant amber hues when the light strikes it just right. The smell is of honey, wheat, some sugar, a bit of lemon, some yeasty funk, and the faintest inclination of caramel. The honey really makes the nose on this one, as it comes across as very deep and enticing. The taste is of smooth, organic honey, lemon, some caramel, wheat, and some other light citrus esters. There is a warming alcohol character on the finish. Again, the honey in this is phenomenal. Mouth is incredibly smooth, with a rich, almost velvety feel. Overall, this was a great wheatwine. Were it locally available, it would earn a permanent spot in my fridge over the summer.

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Photo of hoptualBrew
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into wine glass.

Pours a deep honey orange with small head that clears down to nothing quickly. Nice alcohol legs on the glass, no lacing though. Before the pour, I could literally see the residual sugar strings floating around in the bottle when held to light, crazy.

Nose is mostly honey, but also somewhat a sweet apple cider smell & quite a lot of booziness!

Taste is more along the lines of a super cider than a beer. Very sweet with the honey, apple, wheat, molasses, clove, and coriander. Hides the abv fairly well.

Body is nearly perfect I think. Fairly medium body (6/10) with a nice prickly carbonation fizzle at the back of the tongue.

For my first wheatwine, was not bad at all. A bit too sweet for my taste, but that seems to be keen to the style, so Im not going to judge against that.

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Photo of Emerson1310
4.97/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is only my 2nd wheatwine I ever tasted...And now I want to try them all!!!

Appearance: Rich deep golden color, opaque in the glass and with a golden-white one finger head, decent lacing on glass.

Smell: Definite honey, wheat, bananas, and bubblegum.

Taste (!!) Wow!! Wonderful sweet front, middle, back of tongue without being cloying. Flavors of honey, orange, cloves, wheat, and blended very well together!! The alcohol taste is very well hidden in this 11% ABV wheatwine. The finish is cloves and honey, again without being cloying. The mouth feel is great, thick and creamy.

Overall: Although I am more a rookie with rookie palate, I will buy every bottle of this I can find. It has impressed me more than most craft wheat beers. I highly recommend this...A GREAT summer cooler beer!!!

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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.

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Photo of depechemode1983
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber/orange in color. Head was very little, about one finger then disappears quickly. No lacing.

S - Not very complex but very aromatic and pleasant. Lots of sweet pineapple upfront, peach and honey as well. There is a slight bitter hop presence in the background to balance the sweetness just a bit so its not overly sweet. Also picking up just a hint or alcohol.

T - The taste is where the honey shines through. Very sweet. I pick up subtle fruit flavor like ripe apple and banana. The alcohol is also more present in the taste. Mainly through the finish.

M - Full bodied. Smooth. Creamy. Mild carbonation.

O - Glad I got to try this one. My first wheat wine. I wasn't disappointed. Id like to thank hmph for the opportunity.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint snifter

A - The body really does resemble honey hands down. The head is frothy but quick dieing to a small white ring.

S - Tons of honey on the nose with some sugar candies and some spice and a small amount of wheat in the middle and back.

T & M & D - A big sweet honey body with a good dark fruit and bannana profile in the front that opens to a little more bready and spiced honey on the back. The body is medium to heavy but very smooth and clean. The ABV is high but very well hidden from the palate.

O - A very interesting beer with big bold flavors and a smooth body. For such a high ABV I would sip one on a warm summer day.


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

Poured this one into a tulip glass. Almost no head, and looks kind of like honey. Go figure. Smells of wheat, wine, and honey. Well, wheat and honey anyway. Not overly sweet on the nose. Tastes pretty close to the smell. Lots of honey. The honey separates this from other wheatwines I've had, which, admittedly, aren't very many. The alcohol is definitely well hidden. This beer goes down very smoothly, with very little burn. I will buy a 4 pack of this for sure.

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

Poured into a weizen glass.

A - Amber orange colored brew with a minimal bit of froth. Slightly hazy and obviously unfiltered. Head eventually settled to a thin ring and little to no lacing was apparent.

S - Enticing aroma of honey, wheat, fresh fruit, and a little bit of booze. Sweet and pungent.

T - A bit surprised here because the nose gave me the suspicion that this was going to be overly sweet and heavy on the alcohol. Not the case at all, in fact it is initially bitter before being washed with a sweet (but not overly) honey flavor. Body reminds me of a weizenbock, ramped up a notch.

M - Warming medium body, low carbonation level, slightly sticky, and with a lingering aftertaste of honeysuckle.

D - My first experience with a Wheatwine turns out to be a tasty one. A style I'll have to be on the lookout for without a doubt. Another great beer from Terrapin, reco.

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Photo of akorsak
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Deuane for sharing this bottle, the original Side Project 3 release in a foil-wrapped bottle.

A: The wheatwine is a clear golden color, transparent with a thin white head.

S: Honey, an addition to the mix, adds weight to the body, a sweetness that crowds out the intense wheat aromas.

T: Fortified? Definitely. The wheatwine takes the pale, airy wheat concept to the nth degree. Orange and honey are spicy and sweet, adding depth to the body of the ale. The wheat lacks the oomph that many wheatwines have, making it a deceptively drinkable ale.

M: The mouthfeel is strong and heavy but not disgustingly so. Frankly I really enjoyed the stronger body and nice bite without the lingering booziness.

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Photo of richkrull
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy orangish color with just s bit of slightly off-white head.

Smell is fruity for the most part. Some wheat and spice coming through as well.

Taste is very very malty throughout. Some spice in the finish. Some orange flavor as well. No alcohol presence - surprising for an 11% beer.

Mouthfeel is medium+. Goes down dangerously easy.

Overall I enjoyed this one. Very good flavor throughout. Never had a wheatwine before but if they all taste like this, I'll try some more for sure.

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Photo of Portertime
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gamma Ray is a hefty 10.8 ABV. The colorful label illustrates a lightning bolt brandishing, superhero turtle with Geordi La Forge looking glasses. The label does a plug for the Savannah Bee Company, stating the honey used in the brew was produced locally from there.

Appearance – I am using my smaller Maudite goblet for this one. It almost looks like thin honey as I watch it cascade out of the bottle. The head quickly fizzes to nothing. Holding it to the light produces an awesome burnt orange glow.

Smell – Whoa, I can smell the aroma before I put it to my nose. Flowery honey is prevalent (think mead). I notice a hint of orange blossom, banana, and some bready malts.

Taste – A fluffy fruit and wheat combination hits first. Honey sneaks in second leaving a sweetness on my lips. The finish falls flat a little but goes down smooth despite the high alcohol. The honey is coating my lips like a sugary chap stick. It seems to separate from the brew as I roll it over my tongue. A very interesting sensation.

A very nice brew I would recommend to any mead fan.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's been a while since I had a wheatwine, so here we go. This is the original Side Project #3 brew. Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Mildly hazed orange brown color. One finger of frothy beige head that falls rapidly and leaves no lacing.

4.5 S: This is absolutely screaming honey. Too much so to not call it a braggot. Anyway, rich earthy honey occupies most of the aroma. After that, there is a neutral wheat component with peach and plum fruitiness. Somewhat floral and moderately sweet.

4.0 T: Again, honey is running the show. Earthy, flowery, not quite sugary honey. Wheat with light peach, apple, and plum fruitiness. Simple, but tasty.

4.0 M: Lighter medium to medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Smooth with a honey zing on the aftertaste. Could be a bit creamier.

4.0 D: Definitely a tasty brew. Fans of braggots will love this.

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