Terrapin 90 Shelling Scotch Ale | Terrapin Beer Company

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Terrapin 90 Shelling Scotch AleTerrapin 90 Shelling Scotch Ale
75 Ratings
Terrapin 90 Shelling Scotch AleTerrapin 90 Shelling Scotch Ale

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Side Project #6

Added by glid02 on 05-05-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 75 |  Reviews: 63
Reviews by cvstrickland:
Photo of cvstrickland
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The sixth offering in the Terrapin Side Project series, 90 Shelling Scotch Ale is presented in a chilled bomber bottle with neck-and-crown-swaddled in golden foil. A crack of the cap and a brisk pour into my Delirium Tremens tulip yields a fantastically clear brew that glows brilliant ruby when held to bright backlighting. A finger-thick cap of pale beige foam rests atop the drink, retreating slowly into a sticky sheet that skim-coats the insides of my glass with a scattershot film of lacing.

The aroma is richly malty and savory-sweet. Layers of warm toasted grainy smells are interspersed with sticky caramel, sugary toffee, and a crumble of dark brown bread. A wee nip of perfumey fruit adds a luscious dimension.

The taste is warm and sweetly grainy, with light, medium, and dark caramels claiming stardom on the center stage. The supporting cast of flavors is headlined by buttery-smooth toffee and further refined by a husky scratch of sedate-but-peppery alcohol. A pinch of brown-sugar crusted red apple skins offers a balancing tweak of desirable astringency and a dusting of tea-like dryness lingers in the finish.

The drink is fullish in body with a mild and proportional tingle of fine carbonation. A really nice sipper.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For the most part I have enjoyed the Side Progect stuff and this I liked alot as well.Poured into an imperial nonic a tawny color with a thinner white head,aromas are deeply malty like that of dark fruit mingled with brown sugar and some burnt toast.Nice malt complexity on the palate,starting out with dark fruit with some heavy toastiness and brown sugar with a faint smoky/peaty lingering finish.Its very drinkable for the abv and flavorful,very nice.

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Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Pours an opaque dark leather brown color, lush two fingers of head leaves from lacing on the glass. German dark bread aroma, bready with a faint roasted edge and sweetness in the back. Superb smoothness running from start to finish, a little chewy in the fullish body. A whole lot of malt to handle here, roasted graininess feigns that it is going to step up but stays to a minimum. Malt sweetness is all over but never cloying, perhaps some sweet breadiness though the alcohol and faint roasted flavor balances. Hoppiness is there but more of a woody flavor that compliments the malt character. Finishes malty sweet with a quick edging of clean alcohol and lingering hop.

Oddly a bit more drinkable that I thought it was going to be, not usually a trait seen in this style. Meaning you should not be quaffing back a pint in record time. But this one pulls the desire to continually take bigger sips.

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Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twenty-two ounce bottle pours a clear but dark mahogany body with a small beige head. Some patchy and sheet lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma is solid, but subtle. Toffee, caramel, toasted brown bread, earthy hops, and some charred coffee beans.

Mouthfeel has a creamy carbonation, medium body, and slight chewiness.

Taste is well integrated. Toffee and caramel malt sweetness, an earthy hop bitterness; a hint of coffee highlights a subtle roastiness, a vague pome fruitiness, a note of plums, and a faint dark bread. Everything works together well here. Alcohol stays very well hidden but adds some warmth at the finish.

Very drinkable, particularly for the style. On the malty side of the scale, certainly, but nicely balanced.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this one on tap at Piper's Pub off their draft lineup...quality stuff. Appears a deep mahogany brown hue with a light tan head. Nose is slightly smokey malts herbal low roaring hops deep caramel and earthy tones as well. Flavor was great one of the best interpretations of the style American brewed to date. Ample sweetness bright chest nut character, earthy smoked malt flavor caramel and a hint of vanilla and oak but I know this wasn't barrel aged it was just complex. Mouthfeel was fuller bodied full of malts added a good bit of girth alcohol was well hidden smooth flowing on the palate I welcome more of this in the future. Drinkability is smooth and complex I drank this side by side with some hoppy ales and this one couldn't be beat in the complexity department so much going on I really enjoyed this style brewed by Terrapin.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy dark brown color with a two-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of caramel and butterscotch with toasted malts and hints of chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Butterscotch and toasted malt flavors up front are joined by milk chocolate flavors near the end of the sip. Ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with soft carbonation from the cask conditioning.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing my glass and could have a few more of these.

Overall this isn't my favorite of the Side Projects (Dos Cocoas) but it's another solid beer. Certainly worth a shot.

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Photo of whitekiboko
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Bruisin' Ales. Dark brown colour with lots of lace dots. Good drinkability from lots of malting, and that detracted from style however. Some chocolate malt, and a bit of residual smoke. Spiciness in there, think cardomon.Average mouthfeel.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rough pour brings up a massive head of frothy light tan foam that slowly settles into a creamy cap. Unfortunately it doesn't hold, and the lacing that's left behind (following the initial bit formed by the rough pour) is limited. Beneath, a clear deep mahogany brown body reveals gleaming ruby highlights.

The nose is restrained, but reveals some dark brown sugar, a gentle hint of caramel, and a subtle touch of toastiness / roastiness. Nice!

The body is medium-full with a full, dextrinous edge to it. It's restrained carbonation leaves it smooth and lightly creamy.

The flavor mimics the aroma, and it's gently sugary with a bit of dark caramel, a hint of scorched sugar (perhaps some burnt sugar), some very subtle dark fruit, and a suggestion of smoke. (I doubt there was any smoked malt used as it's not to style, and that note is most likely coming from a little bit of roasted barley in the mix combined with a little bit of alcohol that lends a dryness, and the two together fool the tongue into perceiving woody dryness and smoke). The alcohol never really shows - it's really well cloaked! As expected, it's very softly bitter as the style demands, and there's just enough there to help dry out the finish enough that it doesn't become cloying (I'd guess around 12 - 17 IBU's). A bit of earthy and floral hops help with that, and they linger nicely along with a soft dollop of soft caramel in the finish.

As an attempt at a 90 Shilling I'd say it hits the mark dead on. I'm guessing, however, that a lot of tasters will be confused by the style and expect more. It kind of falls between a lighter 60, 70 or 80 /-, and a 120 /- or wee heavy. The jump in original gravity from an 80 to 90 /- is significant though, going from roughly 10 to 11 plato to around 18. The next stop is a 120/-, or a wee heavy that start at 21 or 22 degrees Plato.

Really nicely done. Well brewed, and more importantly, well fermented. Very nicely balanced! Kudos to Terrapin for this one! A great 90 "Shelling"!

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Photo of cjgator3
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle

A- Bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is a little on the faint side for the style. There is some dark bready malt and caramelized sugars.

T- The taste features more flavor than the aroma which is a good thing. There is a ton of malt flavor in this one. The malt produces a good amount of sweetness, but surprisingly it never gets cloying. There is just a touch of hops in the finish that helps balance this one out. Unlike most Terrapin beers, the hops play second fiddle to the malt which is a nice change of pace.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Not bad Terrapin, not bad at all. This is a solid beer that is definitely worth a try. Recommended!

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Photo of russpowell
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from chefmikeanderson, cheers Mile!

Pours an effervescent chestnut tinged mahogany with 2 fingers of tan head. above average head retention & lacing

S: Breadyness, dates, & cherries, a bit of booze lurk in the background

T: Cakeyness, dryness, toasty malt with a bit of smokeyness & cocoa up front. Tart cherry, dryness, brown bread, figgyness, a hint of leafy hops & a bit of booze as this warms. Finishes dry & fruitty, nice subtle cherry flavor with brown sugar, plus figs

MF: Somewhat chewy, with low carbonation

Drinks pretty easy, a good shot at the style, another solid limited release from these guys

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Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Keith_R
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of PhillyStyle
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - The beer appeared dark, call it cola colored with a thin head that was light tan in color. The head was not well retained and completely disappeared as it settled.

S - The aroma was good, caramel malt aroma with a hint of coffee and a slight roasted/smokey hint. It was nice, but I thought it could have been bigger or more robust.

T - The taste was also good, followed the nose well. It was a bit stronger/robust than the aroma led on, but overall a good flavor.

M/D - The beer had a medium body to it, it was smooth with a nice creaminess to it. Overall, I found the beer pretty easy to drink, but not exceptional yet not bad either.

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Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at the Thirsty Monk in Asheville. Mahoganny like pour, some off white head arises. Aroma had some sweet caramel, toffee, malt and some roast nut. Taste is similar, caramel/toffee, burnt malt with good peaty/nutty tones. Medium bodied. I sipped this one for a while, not that it isn't drinkable, it just seemed like it wanted to be savored a bit. Solid medium body. An enjoyabe scotch ale.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 SAS brought over while we talked about his job interview tomorrow.. He likes Scotch ales.. So do I :-) Seemed like the perfect fit following the Berkshire BA Wee Heavy... My share poured into my Delrium goblet.

Lite tan head looks like meringue.. great retention and lace atop a dark brown brew.

Nose is thick and malty.. caramel and earthy ... smells very nice.. pretty clean.. no real fruity esters like the Berkshire.

Flavor is proper wee heavy... it tastes "dark", but never burnt... hints of smoke maybe from the yeast, but I doubt any smoked malt was used.. good Scotch ale flavors but not as rich as I was hoping... lower carbonation lends to a sorta thicker brew.

I wanted more complexities out of this one.. but it was still pretty much square on the style... just not the standout I was hoping for.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I skipped over a few of the side projects you might have noticed, thanks to SC distributors I get like half of them, Blah! Anyway, this one made it my way from a trade, served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 07/05/2009.

The pour was by far the best part as a rich caramel colored mixture came forward right out of the gate. Rich looking and almost opaque except for the lightest bit of color poking through on the sides and the bottom of the glass. A huge head of light tan color then came up and over the top, settling down only lightly into a nice pillow that seemed to stay on top throughout the rest of the session. Lots of lacing here as well, really starting to show off with how good this one really is. Rich caramel malts here, hints of herbal notes, and a touch of grass round it out very nicely, and as I take the first sip I am amazed at how big this one is. Really very full feel here with lots of carbonation and really a very well put together profile. Smooth, silky as it rolls across the tongue with loads of sweetness and an wonderful sense of grainy malts and nice touches of an almost brown sugar like taste. Very drinkable, I could have done this one all day long.

Overall a very solid offering and I was very pleased to get a hold of it. I would go for this one again any day of the week!

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Photo of kirkpjr
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Dark amber almost coffee like with a small amount of head.

S: Smells complex - notes of chocolate, dark fruits, and toffee. Malts overwhelm most the smell.

T: Very malty. Some of the chocolate comes through in the finish. Light carbonation, just about right for the flavors. Not nearly as complex as some other scotch ales I've tasted.

M: Almost creamy, pleasant mouthfeel.

D: Couldn't drink too many of these in a sitting. Malts are little overwhelming for me.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received a bottle from Palmej1 in a BIF. Thanks to Jacob!!

Poured from a bomber into a Gordon's Finest Gold Scotch Thistle glass.

A - Poured with a thick off white head with tight bubbles, about an inch of head. Leaves fairly quickly leaving thick lace and legs on the side. Color is a deep ruby. Dead on for style. Lace down the glass as you quaff it.

S - Malt Monster! Sweet, chewy, malty, a little alcohol. Can't wait to dive into this beer!

T - first sip - malt, slick, hints of cognac at the back of the tongue. A little vanilla, oak? faint hints of a barrel? smoke? peat? Not an off flavor, not a fault. Very subtle at the end. Very nice!

M - malt, medium bodied. Chewy. Not cloying in its sweetness.

D - On a cold winter night in Chicago, I could down a few bottles. Would probably feel it the next day, but, oh, what a ride. Outstanding beer!

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.67/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. One and a half fingers of creamy/frothy beige head with below average retention and a small ring of lacing.

4.0 S: Biscuity and grainy malts. Some toffee, brown sugar, and a STRONG candied plum aroma. Doesn't stand out, but is very pleasant.

3.5 T: Really reserved for the style. There isn't enough sweetness, which can be explained by the thin body by wee heavy standards. Malts are again grainy and biscuity with the same toffee, brown sugar, and plum. The problem is that all of these flavors other than the graininess are present in low quantities.
3.0 M: Ligher medium to medium body. There's enough carbonation, but it isn't spritzy enough and the beer lies heavy on the tongue. Otherwise, super smooth.

4.0 D: This isn't the most flavorful, but it goes down super easy. I'd think nothing of drinking a few bombers of this by myself.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of 'tends. 22 into a Hilton Garden cup.

Pours a dark coffee bourbon that's not translucent - it's pretty clean, actually. Light ginger, bleached maple head is 1 and done but adequate lacing and yeast wisps persevere.

Very light in body for the weight class - there is dark, stewy caramel and choclatey malt but the backbone is a little on the thin side - English/UK hops are extremely noble with that mahogany woodiness. Warmth brings out a little nice creamy charcoal - a big-time positive harbinger.

Well, shite. I take back all the bad things I said about you. This is like a Scotch mild to me. So...&*(%ing...CREAMY. Sure, the hops are noble and mellow. The scents on the malt that indicate straightforward mildness dissipate quickly on the palate to reveal a velvety smokiness.

I like the latent smokiness of this with a tight hint of melted dark chocolate and a little bit of cocoa powder. It's definitely a little tight but at the same time it's wicked comforting. Like staying at a bed & breakfast that you've never been to where there's a huge, pristine down comforter on the bed. OK, I got nuttin'. Seriously...it has a little heft but it's extremely hidden.

It's a beer that may bring about a little confusion - maybe like a suit that you haven't worn for a few years - tight in some places you don't expect and loose in others. But it feels familiar to an extent - y'all just gotta get re-acquainted. This beer is a metaphor for a relationship gone awkward...but one that's on the mend, 'cause you remember all the good stuff pretty damn quickly.

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Photo of BluesDaddy
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of this at the Edgewood Kroger's in Atlanta - $7.99, which I thought was a good deal. I had already had it on tap at the Porter Beer Bar. I poured from the bottle into a small chalice. My bottle had almost no head. Maybe I didn't pour well.

As others have noted, it pours a very opaque brown, almost black. With the light shining through it has some deep cordovan hues. The aroma hit me immediately, a strong malty, almost pumpernickel smell. Very nice. Had the same impression on tap.

This is a big tasting beer with a very full mouth feel. For such a big beer it is not cloying at all. A lot of flavor at the front and middle of the tongue, even the aftertaste is in the middle. Almost nothing at the back of the tongue but the most subtle of hops. Very enjoyable and recommended.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a very deep ruby-brown; quite dark in appearance, though very clear. Raises a somewhat small and ill-retentive tan head, creamy but fading rather quickly and failing to leave much behind on the glass. Lightly thick, showing the faintest of legs when swirled.

Richly malty in the nose, with caramel notes melding with pleasant fruity notes of prune and fig. A whiff of alcohol sneaks into the mix as well.

Medium-full body is mildly carbonated and rather slick on the palate, yielding a depth of malt character. Caramel sweetness brings up the front, with a somewhat dry, earthy peatiness forming the middle along with some slight fruity esters like those in the nose. A faintly warming alcohol presence brings things to a mild warming finish that is a bit dry and earthy, with some sweetness lingering.

Mildly drinkable, though never cloying. A superbly well-crafted example of the style, with hardly a flaw to be noted. Not overly sweet like some examples, but rather a clean, balanced brew that showcases the wonderful maltiness characteristic of Wee Heavies.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown pour with two fingers of head in my tulip. Smell is thick, potent malts. Big caramel and toast. Powerful enough that I smelled it when pouring.

The taste is quite solid, if unspectacular. Scotch ales can be very hit or miss for me, based on the uniqueness of the malt profile. This one is actually fairly middle of the road and standard for what I would expect a good (but not standout) scotch ale to taste like. Lightly toasted grains, faint hints of caramel sweetness. Toasted malt aftertaste that lingers for a bit.

Mouthfeel is medium with a bit of a carbonation sting. This was definitely a very nice, drinkable beer. Good representation of the style.

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

A- Dark raspberry/ruby color. Small layer of head that completely fades away. No lacing.

S- Smells like a double, not a typical scotch ale smell. Belgiun yeast and dark fruits. Butterscotch.

T- Along with the smell.. yeasty and sweet dark fruits dare I say grapes. Big toasty malts at the end. Dry finish. There wasn't that scotch or caramel taste you get with other beers of this style.

M- Dry and sticky. Medium bodied, low carbonation.

D- This is just a weak representation of the style in my opinion. This wasn't enjoyable or easy to get through honestly. Compared to other brews of this style is just doesn't compare.

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Terrapin 90 Shelling Scotch Ale from Terrapin Beer Company
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 75 ratings