Terrapin Gamma Ray | Terrapin Beer Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Terrapin Gamma RayTerrapin Gamma Ray
Very Good
471 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 471 |  Reviews: 353
Photo of Patrick999
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally, the ever-elusive wheatwine. It's the first wheatwine I've ever seen on a South Florida shelf.

A - Poured into a snifter. This is already not what I expected. I thought a wheatwine would be darker, similar to a barleywine, but apparently not. I'll chalk this up to beer knowledge gained. At any rate, it's very light, sunny and clear. There is barely any foam - it takes some forceful swirling to get anything at all.

S - Heavy on the wheat, heavy on the alcohol. It's rum-soaked whole wheat banana bread.

T - Whoa. This tastes like a triple-hefeweizen. Big-ass wheat backbone, lots of banana and bubblegum, and the added honey creates a verdant, not overbearing sweetness. Although I noted plenty of alcohol in the aroma, I don't much taste it.

F - Carbonation is low. A little wine-like in feel, which seems appropriate on both counts.

D - For such a sprawling, huge beer, this is rather drinkable. I'll pick up another if I can.

 948 characters

Photo of Yesac
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Cloudy orangy yellow. Medium head that fades away quickly.

S - Sweet like cherry bubblegum with hints of honey.

T - Along with the smell up front.. its sweet and bubblegummy. A rush of wheat follows through and dominates with a honey finish. Very unique and smooth. I'm not a big fan of wheat beers, but for someone who is.. try and grab one of these. This brew rings in at 11%, but where the heck is it? One of the best jobs of hiding a high ABV I've ever experienced.

M - Very clean and smooth, not much is left lingering.

D - I only discount the drinkability here because I'm not a fan of wheat beers, so my review is biased. This is a very smooth brew however. If you like sweet and wheat in a bottle this is for you.

 732 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 received in trade with RustyDiamond... huge thanks for the painless trade.. I've had one of these back after Thanksgiving dinner.. decided to give one another go around tonight.. poured into my New Belgium snifter...

Very cloudy honey orange.. 1" head.. dies fairly quick with nice lace ribbons..

Nose is thick and sweet.. banana esters and very surprising spicy phenols.. the aroma is very complex.. yet.. still very candy sweet smelling.

Flavor is a thick melange of banana and honey out of the gate.. honey essence (not necessarily sweet, but the honey) is still very very very present... fairly large banana component too.. the hops are there... and so is a very mild bitter backbone.. it could use a nice blast of fruity hops and a huge pick-up of spicy hops .. plus alot more bittering. the sweetness and the honey essence was just too much for me to get around... There are background wheat flavors... it sorta reminds me of a much much sweeter Vitus... The body is also too thick... and for this brew.. the carbonation needs to be ramped up a peg or three.

Don't get me wrong.. this is a pretty interesting brew... I am sorta enjoying it.. but... christ.. seriously.. way to sweet for a bomber.. 12oz... maybe without this much bitching and moaning.. but now... I have another 12+ oz's to go.... too much of a brew that really needs to be dialed in.

Thanks Rusty... I appreciate it a bunch. Despite my above negatives, I want to get a couple more of these and let them sit for a very long while.... it may never be a great BW or WW.. but I guarantee... it will be very interesting with a year or so on it.


 1,639 characters

Photo of gabeerfan
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, honey gold color with a very thin head that completely disappears.
Kind of a Belgian-y aroma. Candy sugar and bubblegum. There is a nice honey aroma in there too. Some wheatiness.
Belgian-y flavors too. Candy sugar is present again, a good bit of clove and a hint of ginger. Nice honey flavor and alcohol warmth.
Medium-full bodied. The honey really makes for a sticky, but pleasant mouthfeel. Somewhat low carbonation.
Pretty drinkable. Good flavors, but at 11%, it's a sipper.
Probably the best Side Project so far. I may have said that about the last one, but I mean it this time. If you can still find it, try it.

 633 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 wagenvolks
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber split with friends, my portion into a beer mug. Second time trying this beer--first review.

Releases a viscous, slightly hazy, peach-goldenrod body into the glass. Carbonation is slight, although the eggshell white head retains well as a thin veil of tiny bubbles. The aroma is thoroughly enticing, presenting notes of buttered wheat, bubble gum, orange peel, banana creme, vanilla, and a touch of spicy, organic hops.

Flavor starts out crisp and sweet with a plethora of yeasty fruits like banana and orange, quickly transitioning to chewy, candied wheat and boozy bubblegum notes. Quite a complex brew that finishes with a slightly spicy alcohol heat (not overwhelming, but noticeable). Mouthfeel is creamily smooth and thick on the palate, with a higher-than-expected carbonation level that spritzes up the back of the tongue. All in all, a satisfyingly complex and tasty wheatwine from the talented Terrapin brewers. The side projects have yet to disappoint.

 978 characters

Photo of johnd513
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to goodbyeohio for this one.
This beer pours a hazy golden orange with a small off white head that quickly disappears. Smells of sweet honey, oranges, banana and alcohol at the end. The tastes follows the smell and is very sweet with that same intense honey flavor. The mouthfeel is different on this one because of the beers sweetness. This beer coats the mouth and lingers for a long time. Drinkability is decent but obviously hindered by this beers 11% abv. Overall a great offering from Terrapin! I loved wake and bake and now I think I am going to have to seek out more of their beers.

 603 characters

Photo of Proteus93
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Shared with dkachur, courtesy CrellMoset. Thanks to both!

A: Hazy like a wheat beer... imagine that. Not so much in the sense of it being a wheat beer like a hefe, but like being an unfiltered brew.

S: A big candi sugar, clovish, and bubblegum like aroma. A Belgian quality to it, both in yeastiness and sweetness.

T: Some similar flavours to the aroma. A detect the banana in there, not so much like a weizen, but it's there. A good kick of alcohol spiciness on the finish.

M + D Medium body, medium carbonation. Fairly straight forward, but nice. Drinkability is a little painful... the alcohol kicks me around a bit, but isn't all that hot. Still, a sipper at most.

 674 characters

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

Brewed with an "obscene" amount of honey...ok, we'll see how this goes. Pours a glowing gold color with a bit of haze and a thin, sticky looking head. Smells primarily of sweet fruity esters: pear, dried banana, flowers, and bubblegum. Some tart berries and wheat too. First sip is a thick mouthfull of sweetness and alcohol. Wheaty tartness and lots of peppery, clove-y phenolics quickly counter the sweet qualities. Ripe pomaceous fruits, raisins, and honey. Syrupy and smooth...the alcohol never gets in the way too much. I'm definitely feeling it by the end of one glass though. Drinkable for 11% abv, but one glass is enough for sure.

 639 characters

Photo of cvstrickland
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

The third offering from Terrapin's Side Project series is presented in a 22-ounce bomber bottle popped open at cellar temperature and poured into a goblet. The resulting golden honey-amber body is capped with a small off-white head that reduces in a flash to a thin ring, leaving scraps of lacing on the glass.

The smell is orchard-fruity and florally sweet with a bit of wheat bread drizzled in honey. Potently fruity, but in a beastly kind of a way, with boozy cloves and fruity overripe pears, splashed with Smirnoff Vodka and zipped through the Cuisinart.

The flavor follows the nose with the notion of pears and vodka, plus mango syrup and red apple juice, underripe pineapple and a zing of peppery, aromatic spice. The drink initiates the process of warming the drinker from the very first sip, and a small, but toasty breadiness grows as the drink itself gains a degree or two Celsius. Only toward the end of the nearly two hours it took me to tackle Gamma Ray did the honey flavors come forth big-time-- raw, floral, and spicy.

Thick, vinously syrupy, and very lightly carbonated, this brew tastes good, but the bottom line is that it is one boozy sumbitch and is certainly not made for quaffing. Perhaps better suited to the land of aperitifs and the like, Terrapin's Gamma Ray would be best served in a cordial glass or presented in a half-snifter than in this misguided format, this alcoholic-friendly misadventure that is this monstrous "beer" being stuffed into a bomber bottle. Preposterous.

If you want to drink the whole thing at one sitting, take my advice-- take your time... and bring a friend... or three.

 1,629 characters

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

Yet another beer from Terrapin that demands a new style (wheat wine). Aroma was nice. Strong honey and alcohol. Pour was a thick syrupy medium gold with big stagnant bubbles and no head. Taste was very big and alcoholic. The honey and alcohol drown everything else out. Can pick up a hint of tangy wheat in the aftertaste. Little carbnonation.

 343 characters

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

22oz bottle into a Duvel snifter. Pours a nice hazy pale orange with a thin off-white head that diminishes to a ring and leaves slight lacing. Aroma is sweet malts, bubblegum and a hint of Earthy hops. Taste is a nice blend of wheat malt and lingering hops, sweet bubblegum is predominant with hops coming through in the finish. The beer is on the heavy side of medium with low carbonation and a dry smooth honey texture. This is the first beer of this style I have tried, and I must say, I am impressed.

 504 characters

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy yellow body with smallish white head. Leaves a little bit of lacing behind.

Smell comes with lots of bannana and coriander, alcohol.

The dominant flavor here is definitely bannana. Very sweet with some wheat twang in there. Some of the sweetness comes from the fruit notes, but the honey features a role there too. Notes of coriander. Fairly hot and boozy throughout, especially in the finish. Reminds me a little of a Belgian strong pale ale. Despite being boozy, at 11% it's no bad. This is a tasty beer.

A pretty heavy mouthfeel, maybe even a little syrupy, but nt bad.

At 11% this is drinkable, A nice beer for sure.

 631 characters

Photo of bkilpatr
2.36/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Chimay glass. 11/25/08.

Pours a golden orange color with a thin half-finger of whitish head. The head disappeared quickly to almost nothing. Aroma is strong with wheat and malt, and a fair amount of rubbing alcohol.

Taste has a lot of light citrus (orange peel, lemon), wheat, sweet malt, and a touch of fruity sweet honey. Some spice (coriander, clove) and banana as well. A bit too sweet for me. The rubbing alcohol from the aroma makes an appearance again in the taste. (Note: I have not actually tasted rubbing alcohol, but the taste is what I would expect from rubbing alcohol based on the smell.) The taste is too medicinal and boozy.

Feel is medium-full bodied and slightly low on the carbonation. Some warming from the alcohol, and there's a lingering alcohol aftertaste. Drinkability is low - between the unpleasant taste and the high ABV (11%) it's just not easy to drink.

Overall, I'm not impressed by this. The taste is overly ridden with alcohol and too medicinal.

 1,015 characters

Photo of ckeegan04
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Hazed golden brown with dirty caramel hues when held up to light. Very thin head and what there is fades quickly. Thin rings of lace left in the glass.

S - Big fruity esters dominate the nose. Some banana and raisin come to mind with an underlying spice of corriander. A little on the boozy side, but hey, it is 11%.

T - Sweet and spicy up front. Lots of fruity alcohol with banana being the primary flavor. A nice spice to it with taste of clove and corriander. Almost tastes as though it has a little rye in it as well. The sweetness carries through and becomes dominant by the end of the drink. The alcohol does show up in the last half of the drink but does not overpower anything at all. If anything, it is dangerously well hidden given the 11%.

M/D - Very slick feel that almost coats the mouth in sweetness. A decent level of carbonation. Drinkability is surprisingly high given the ABV, but you better be ready for something sweet.

Sugary sweet is not my favorite characteristic in a beer, but Gamma Ray pulls it off. Not something I would want to have all the time, but a very nice change of pace. Also, the honey that it mentions adding huge amounts of does not show in the taste very well, in my opinion. Overall, a very worthy beer and I love the Side Projects. Cant wait to see what they pop out next.

Edit: As the beer warms a very medicinal taste begins to come through. Some weird combo of asprin and band-aid. Not a horrible taste when mixed with the other tastes, but an interesting change. Might try to keep this one a little colder moving forward.

 1,576 characters

Photo of PatronWizard
4.24/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to SiriusAth, huge-hearted trader. My first brew of the evening and first brew gets the review. Let's go....

Thickish apricot color with medium white head. Ok.

Smell is light fruits. I claim pears and bananas. Maybe orange, but slight.

I believe I get a little alcohol in the taste. Fruits are there but less prominent than in the nose. Taste like one of the better versions of Tropican Twisters. Worthy. Funny, no honey.

Fairly (gulp) smooth and really (gulp) drinkable. Or it may (gulp) be the "First Beer (gulp) of the Day Curse." Anybody seen my beer?

Overall: I thoroughly enjoyed this

 607 characters

Photo of BigMcLargeHuge
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazy copper with gold edges and white head. The aroma is a load of fermented honey and honey like fusels. If your nose wades through the layers of honey there is a moment or two of wheat and sweet malts. The taste is similar to the nose with an upfront attack of honey, honey and then some honey too. But by midway a full tasty wheat note opens up creating almost a hefewezien sensation that makes me feel like I'm tasting banana too but I'm not sure that is really there. The wheat and honey combination creates a short banana character. As the finish approaches a welcome note of malt, ripe plums and ripe cherries well up to join the fading honey and solid wheat flavors as the experience is carried into the after taste. I love the way this beer finishes but I'm not wild about the way it starts. For a new brew at 11% ABV the alcohol is very well hidden. I've had 8% beers with bigger booze flaws. Personally I'd prefer a wheat forward brew rather than this honey forward one. I'm not so sure it will even out with age. I've gone down the big honey brew road before and years later my creation really never wavered or smoothed out. But hopefully this one will be different.

 1,193 characters

Photo of Deus1138
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, cloudy orangish color. Not much head to speak of. What was there quickly dissolved. It smells wheaty, like a hefewezien, and just a little sweet. Taste is dominated by the wheat. You'll also notice a little bot of banana, clove, and honey sweetness. It also tastes a little like a Belgian pale ale. There's a good amount of alcohol that is well hidden, but you'll get a nice warming sensation when you swallow. Drinkability is great, but watch yourself with that ABV.

 481 characters

Photo of Strix
4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy straw color with very little head.

Wonderful aroma, smells like a strong hefeweizen, wheat, clove, banana, honey, bubblegum?

Not all of that makes it out in the flavor, but it's reminiscent of a hefeweizen - full of clove and banana. I can definitely taste some honey, though I might not have pinned it down had it not been listed on the bottle. Some alcohol presence, but considering the ABV, it's well masked.

Mouthfeel light and highly carbonated.

This was interesting. My first wheatwine, and it was quite nice. I've been impressed by Terrapin.

 568 characters

Photo of hwwty4
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sebletitje for this one.

Poured a 22oz bomber into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This beer pours a hazy honey amber with a nice 2 inch head that quickly rescinded into just a little ring around the glass leaving no hint that it had ever touched the sides of the glass. The aroma has most of the classic Hefe attributes with banana, and clove but also pears, other fruity esters and sweet raw honey come through. The taste is surprisingly dissimilar from a hefe. While there is still a little banana, pears are the dominant fruit flavor with sweet honey being also pretty prevalent. The mouthfeel is a bit light for how viscous looking this beer is. Surprised me a bit. This is a good beer, but a bit on the sweet side for a 22oz'er. Would have really loved to see this in a 12oz bottle because a double deuce is a little too much.

 838 characters

Photo of SirSketch
4.39/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very cloudy, golden yellow beer with orange hues throughout. Not much head to it. The smell was very much reminiscent of a Belgian brew, with loads of yeasty funkiness to it. Citrus, honey and light grainy aromas to it as well. Some esters try to escape but are hardly noticeable.

Has strong Belgian yeasty and citrus flavors, followed by a huge malty kick that I wasn't expecting. Light banana and clove notes to it as well. Very heavy in body, despite the look and smell. semi dry aftertaste that is very sweet. This beer throws you for a loop, and I loved it!

 565 characters

Photo of flexabull
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of tjbartjr, thanks again!

Pours a bright and cloudy gold color, with not much of a head at all. Not all that appealing to look at.

Aromas are very spicy, boozy, oak like, bright fruits, citrus, almost like oranges.

Taste is very spicy, and boozy. Some oak, kind of sweet from the honey and with crisp green apple flavors. Finish is dry, and hot with a bite from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is good, pretty full up front with a crisp and sharp finish.

Drinkability is ok. This beer is kind of all over the place. Some sips I like it, others... not so much. This beer needs some refining, and probably could use some time in the cellar. Decent effort, but kind of flawed.

 686 characters

Photo of Zeckster
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So I've been looking for a wheatwine since BA did that report a couple months back. Just found it at Gator Bev in Gainesville, FL.

Anyway to the review.

Poured into a wide mouth stemmed wine glass. It gave off a nice hint of whitish head before reducing. The color was hazy and I feel reflected its taste very well. I had it cold and it tasted like a sweet wheat without the 11% alcohol feel. Maybe if I let it warm to room temp the alcohol would have become pronounced, but that didn't happen.

It felt a little zingy in the mouth. Maybe a result of the carbonation.

I would most certainly have another go at this beer. Also need to start looking for more of its ilk.

 671 characters

Photo of IPAcraig
4.47/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Electric hazy yellow, with a hint of orange. Could use a bit more head.

I love a hefewizen with a big bana presence. This has more banana aroma and flavor than any hefe I have ever had. It has a bit of Belgian Tripel fruit as well.

Boozy, fruity, and packed with banana of course. A bit hot. A lot going on here.

Creamy and rich.

I am going back for seconds if there are still some in Nashville. Unique and tasty.

 418 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4.11/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours an orangish amber color with a thin and fizzy off-white head that quickly disappears.

S- The aroma is sweet candied sugar, honey and bananas and some fruity esters as well. The nose is pretty appealing, can't wait for the taste.

T- The taste like the aroma is sweet, but I do not find it to be too overwhelmingly sweet. The banana flavors that appear in the nose are also prevalent in the taste. The finish is a little warm in the finish, but it is not as hot as I would have guessed considering the 11%.

M- The mouthfeel is a little thinner than I expected with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- The alcohol is definitely there, but I think this beer does a pretty job at masking it. Gamma Ray is dangerously drinkable considering its high ABV.

Overall, Gamma Ray is another great brew from Terrapin. I am a huge fan of the Side Project series and look forward to the next on. I am impressed with this offering and can't wait to see how it ages. highly Recommended!

 998 characters

Terrapin Gamma Ray from Terrapin Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 471 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.