Terrapin The Dark Side Belgian Style Imperial Stout | Terrapin Beer Company

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Terrapin The Dark Side Belgian Style Imperial StoutTerrapin The Dark Side Belgian Style Imperial Stout
Very Good
183 Ratings
Terrapin The Dark Side Belgian Style Imperial StoutTerrapin The Dark Side Belgian Style Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Side project #9

Added by BeerSox on 12-14-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 183 |  Reviews: 139
Photo of freduardo
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of cwguy5
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 8.24.11. Poured from bottle into McChouffe goblet.

A - deep brown almost black with thin brown head; low retention; no lacing
S - sweetish with dark roast, maple
T - sweet at first then increasingly roasty; some yeasty, bready action then sweet herbal honey finish
M - low carbonation; smooth mouthfeel; short, sweet linger
D - very good overall; great mouthfeel; on the sweet side but balanced pretty well; i could finish a bomber of this easily

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Photo of CurtisLoew
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown/black color. Decent sized light brown head, quickly fades into a thin film.

Smells just like what it is, kinda like a belgian strong dark and kinda like a stout.

Taste more like a belgian strong dark than a stout. Get some raisins, chocolate, dark fruits.

Mouthfeel is a little too thin for my liking. Starts out sharp but smooths out as it warms.

Overall, good beer. It was definitely interesting, and a good take on the style I thought.

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Photo of marvin213
2.78/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Rarely does a well made beer take a hit for looks, but the thin head on this thin pour actually seems to struggle to form before it quickly vanishes. It's black, but the carbonation seems weird. The bubbling suggests mor Dr. Pepper or A&W Root Beer than Belgian Strong Dark.

I'll admit I grabbed this from the back of the fridge--typically the coldest part--but I smell very little dark fruit. I mean I smell and sniff REALLY hard and I get maybe a LITTLE dark fruit. A fig or a plum. No Belgian yeast.

I'm not so sure about this "Belgian stout" style, but I didn't really expect something so plain with what appears as a one-off "dark sider." It's so plain. In a way, it actually tastes like the root beer it so resembled! Just a bit of alcohol zing and warmth proves otherwise. A bit of raisin and dark fruit travel a fermentation whose sole "Belgian" influence seems nothing more than carbonation--it imparts basically nothing to smell or to taste. Though the beer feels all right, this overriding non-Belgianness is disappointing.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-dark brown, almost black with a thin light tan head that fades

S-smells like really dark roasted coffee malts with a small hint of bubble gum. smells woody, good strength

T-comes in with a dark roasted burnt flavor. the burnt flavor is really strong. doesn't have the coffee or chocolate flavors that stouts have. also doesn't have the belgian flavors that belgians have. there's a smoked wood flavor that makes up the after-taste.

M-light bodied for a stout.light carbonation with a dry finish

O-the more i drink it the more i like it. its not particularly great for any style, but its definitely not a bad beer. i don't think its fair that terrapin labels this as a stout and it gets categorized as a BDSA?? in my opinion, the tastes are closest to a foreign/export stout more so than anything. it definitely tasty in its own way but its not something i'll be needing to buy ever again. i was perfectly happy to share this bomber

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours out nice and thick black looking. The head was pretty lively. The lacing was pretty good along the glass too. The smell of the beer has a nice aroma to it, it's a good mix of yeast and roasted malts. The taste of the beer has a pretty good chocolatey taste. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite good. Overall it's was a nice stout. Probably wouldn't need to have it again but glad I tried it.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A 22oz bomber picked up at Total Wine in Columbia.

A - Dark! Dark! Dark! Nice tan head, with just a little bit of sticky lace on the glass

A - Sweet malts and dark fruit. Brown sugar maybe. Also getting a good boozy whiff

T - Wow, lots of chocolate. Dark fruits up front and chocolate in the middle and ending. Also, has a boozy kick in the end.

M - Very thin body. Low carbonation. Well balanced.

O - This one is very tasty, but a litte too boozy. One is enough at a time. Alot more chocolate than the Moo-Hoo in my opinion. The belgian yeast adds a nice touch.

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Photo of Shumania
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been in the cellar for a while. I believe this is from 2009. No date on the bottle. Poured into a snifter.

a: black with a small brown head.

s: some chocolate malt with dark fruit in the background.

t: The chocolate and dark fruit switch places from the smell. The dark fruit comes out first with raison, fig, and maybe a little cherry. It finishes with a light bittersweet chcolate.

m: It is a tad thin. If this was a little fullier, it would be really enjoyable.

Very solid beer. It is an interesting mix of a stout and belgian dark strong ale.

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Photo of MarkIntihar
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up as an extra from mondegreen. Thanks James!

Enjoyed from my Anderson Valley snifter.

A - Pours very dark brown with very little tan head and retention only around the edges.

S - Mostly dark fruits. Perhaps a bit of coffee/dark chocolate. Some hints of toffee as well.

T - Follows pretty consistently with the nose. Mostly dark fruits, but more coffee/dark chocolate than the smell.

M - Not overly carbonated and very smooth. Coats the throat very nicely even though it is somewhat thin.

O - Overall a well done beer. I don't typically enjoy Belgian style stouts all that much but this was solid.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, almost black body, with a thin tan head that disappears quickly. No lacing.

S: A complex, but mellow aroma of chocolate malts, Belgian yeast, dark fruits, & spices.

T: Taste follows the nose very well. Upfront flavor of dark fruits with a slight sour funk. Middle flavor is licorice, raisins, Belgian yeast, & spices. Finishes dry with bitter sweet chocolate malt flavor.

M: Light body for the style, but a full flavor; light carbonation.

O: Nice beer, but I don't think it's anything amazing. I would only want one of these at a time.

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Photo of sitarist
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque and next to black in color. Head was less than half an inch, and fell quickly to a coral colored ring with spots of lacing. I poured vigorously on the 2nd glass, and received a much thicker head.

The first whiff reminds me of a banana split(vanilla, chocolate syrup, fruits, nuts), as it warms I'm getting plums, coco, licorice, raisins, dried tropical fruits, and bitter sweet chocolate.

Coco, bitter sweet chocolate, and plums carry over from the nose; with hints of walnuts, and a slight smokiness.

Not thick, but full bodied.

A very nice beer that seems to be aging well. Complex, and balanced it is still easy to drink.

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Photo of biglite351
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - black to the edge with a very tight tall tan head.

S - Dried fruit, raisin, chocolate, yeast, malt. A lot going on but it is rather mild overall.

T - Raisins, sweet malts, chocolate, candy licorice and maybe just a slight hint of smoke.

M - mild coating with a nice tingle on the sides.of tongue and back of throat.

O - I could have a couple of these.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes, 10-13-10

A - dark blackish reddish body, little to no head.

S - dark stone fruits and raisins, chocolatey malts

T - Licorice, bitter dryness. not great balance with nose, but good.

M - not very thick

O (D) - Interesting and warming, not bad, not great.

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Photo of wedge
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one for xmas '09...

Pitch black with a creamy tan ring on top. Dark, rich aroma - purple fruit, chocolate, caramel, and a touch of licorice. Sweet roasted malt flavors...chocolate, coffee, prune, plum. Less upfront dark fruitiness than the smell. The sweet mocha-like aftertaste pretty much covers up any alcohol. Medium-plus body and creamy. Tasty!

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to tpd975 for the great trade!

a - poured into my maudite glass...beer was a deep purple, almost brown. there was a thin frothy head, but nothing like what i look for in a traditional BSDA, but the label calls it a belgian imperial stout.

s - strong complex blend of spicey raisins, plums, chocolate, and a tangy beef jerky / pepperoni type of smell.

t - oh wow. again a complex medley of chocolate and dark fruits with a tangy almost jerky type of spicing. alc is also present in the taste.

m - medium bodied and filling. dark and powerful with a vibrant tang.

o - something different for sure. cool as a side project, not something i'd look for in the regular lineup. alc warms quickly, but is not too in your face. overall seems like an imperial stout crossed with a belgian strong dark ale.

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Photo of mondegreen
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz into a Founders Tulip. #9 in the Side Project Series. Aged 14 months in my cellar.

Pours pitch black with a nice tan foam cap. No light comes through this one. Plenty of lacing.

Aromas of belgian yeast live in the background on this one. Sweet roasted malts upfront, with a lovely wood element.

This beer is definitely more on the stout side of things. The Belgian yeast provides a touch of dark fruit, but mostly it's a slightly sweet imperial stout. Wood comes through in the flavor, too - which is odd because this isn't wood aged.

Mouth is medium full. Usually, Belgian style stouts come out way too watery, but not here. Mouthfeel is a stron point of the brew.

Drinks very well. Overall, this beer comes out a nice blend of BSDA and Stout, and is one of the best Belgian Style Stouts I've had. It's also the 2nd best Terrapin side project to this point, IMO - behind #12.

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Photo of JayQue
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is more of a stout than a BSDA. Roasted malts, hints of coffee and chocolate, fairly rich.

Poured into a plastic Tastes Unlimited pint glass. Really dense, dark color with a medium size light brown head. Some lacing on the glass (would have been more with a real glass).

Aroma is stout....roasted malts, chocolate and coffee...with the malts most dominant.

Taste included a little Belgian yeasts but still primarily a stout.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy...Smooth, no hint of the 8.50 abv.

Drinkability is pretty good, a smooth, rich stout with some Belgian overtones. Not great, but pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of kels
3.14/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer pours darkest chocolate brown, almost black, with a nice ruby highlight throughout. The initial 1/2 finger of cocoa-brown head fades quickly to a swirly skim with some lace swathing the walls of the glass.

Smell is a little metallic, almost bloody, with roasted malts and a little wood, even though I'm pretty sure it's not barrel aged.

Interesting flavors happen. There's a chocolate malt roasty creaminess meets a yeasty, chewy prune stickiness. That metallic iron presence still comes through from the nose to the taste, and the alcohol doesn't even try to hide itself. Feel is moderate to thin, and the beer leaves an overall film across the palate.

Drinkability could be higher if the flavors would play more nicely together. Maybe that bloody iron could sit one out and the alcohol could cool down a bit.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5/17/2010. Bottle thanks to Tsotsi. Pours black with a small dark tan head. Aroma of chocolate, lactose, sweet roasted malt. Flavor also of sweet chocolate and lactose with some roasted, charred malt notes in the finish. Very drinkable and I really enjoyed the smooth, milky mouthfeel. Great foreign stout from Terrapin!

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Photo of babaracas
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nearly opaque very dark brown with bubbly insta-fade dark brown head, couple dots of lace. Smell: chocolate, roasted grain, dark fruits, and a lot of diacetyl which covers up some faint pear and apple. Taste: unfiltered apple juice, mild roast, dark chocolate, earthy hopping, a little anise, mild booze. It's decent but I wouldn't say it's great as either a BSDA or an IS.

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Photo of portia99
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle generously broken out by jlindros at his hosted imperial stout tasting. Shared with several BA's. Poured into a Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary snifter.

A - Clear, somewhat thin, very dark brown color. No head whatsoever...can be roused with a vigorous swirl, but disappears quickly. Thin brown collar with no lacing.

S - Licorice with some chocolate, some green and vegetable aromas mixed in. Not really getting much else and definitely not getting any Belgian yeast character out of this.

T - Licorice, a bit smokey, dark roasty flavors, some creamy milk chocolate, a bit of coffee, some caramel and molasses.

M - A bit on the thin side, creamy smooth with a lower carbonation level.

D - Wouldn't call this anywhere near a favorite Impy Stout but it goes down very easily. No alcohol can be detected. It's an interesting interpretation of the style - not outstanding, but not bad either. Worth a try, but not to the point of needing to go out your way for either.

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Photo of Neffbeer
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle that I picked up at TJ's last fall. Poured into my Portsmouth brewery tulip.

A: Big frothy tan head that hangs around for awhile. Some nice peaks and lacing.

S: Chocolate and coffee, a hint of caramel apple. Surprisingly not much of a belgian yeast presence in the nose.

T: Dark chocolate, coffee, some apple/fruit, and toasted bread. Finishes dry.

M: Medium body with high carbonation.

D: Not a bad brew, but not something I would bother picking up again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the Mad Mex pours a pitch balck hue with a creamy tan head, thin even speckled layes of lacing. Aroma has a black patent malt dark chocolate mild booziness, even a touch of anise hidden in their with some dark fruits. Flavor more dark fruit hints of cocoa more soothing alcohol burn, defiinitely not overpowering. A molasses and brown sugar collision that remains balanced with some herbal hops and spicy yeast combo. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied efferevescent well choreographed carbonation level, nothing cloying did I mention this was a 12 ounce pour. Drinkability some rough spots but overall an enjoyable experience, will definitely age well if you have any big bottles hanging around.

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Photo of tchaos
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Palm tulip. Picked up at the local Whole Foods.

A - Pours dark black/brown, but noticeably more deep brown in the light. Yielded a one-finger mocha head that dissipated rather quickly. Very little to no lacing.

S - Needs a bit of time to open and release any volatiles. Roasted malt characteristics and very light alcohol are present.

T - Mild oak and plum at the start gives way to caramel in the middle. Follwed by not unpleasant alcohol, and a very long, lingering coffee finish.

M - Very smooth, with moderate carbonation. More carbonation than I was expecting, likely because it would be classifies as a Belgian Specialty Ale vs an RIS.

D - A sipper, not a quaffer. The late alcohol and long finish would be spoiled by consuming too quickly. One of the better Terrapin Side Projects.

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Terrapin The Dark Side Belgian Style Imperial Stout from Terrapin Beer Company
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 183 ratings