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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 183 |  Reviews: 139
Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to receive a bottle of this in a trade with thagr81us down in South Carolina. I poured it into a DFH pint glass. It poured an oily midnight black with a foamy khaki head, which dissipated within a minute or two. The smell was interesting. It was very, very oaky and was definitely heavy on the malt. There is a roasted aroma to accompany the oak. It's intriguing for an "imperial stout", which is classified as a Dark Belgian? The taste mirrors the aromas. It's very malty and oaky. If I didn't know better I'd say it tastes oak barrel aged. The mouthfeel is very smooth and I'd say it's a medium bodied stout. It does have good flavor and smells good. It's definitely an interesting beer. I wish I could try it again, with some friends to get their opinions. I just can't get over how oaky it is in its overall presentation. It's one I'll think about for awhile.

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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 InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of AlexFields
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to gford217 for this one.

22oz. Bomber
Gold Foil

Poured into a chalice a black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy light tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some chocolate, toffee, and some dark fruits. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, a nice touch of the dark stuff. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad brew at all, tasty.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Typical stout appearance, pitch black with a mild caramel colored head. Has anyone really had a stout that looks any different?

Smell is coffee, caramel, dark fruit, and chocolate. For a stout, there's more going on in the nose than dominant roasted malt, I like that.

Taste is Dark chocolate, roasted malt, mild amount of molasses, dark fruits, toasted caramel, a little nutty, and mildly bready. The bitter chocolate is up front with a nice hop base, and very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is very smooth with a dry finish, but I'm not digging the thin body, I like heavier Imperial Stouts and this one needs to grow some testicles.

Drinkability is decent, if the body weren't so thin, I'd score it higher. What a downer.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is black with a thin brown head that leaves a little lacing on the glass.

Aroma is weak but kind of smells like coffee and sugar.

Beer is medium body, not a lot of Belgian yeast character in here and there is a strong bitterness at the back from the yeast character, I assume. Its a little sweet up front but overall its just OK.

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Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

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

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warm black malt scent with some fruity Belgian notes. It's not overly fruity and it does have a stiff black malt earthiness. The taste is much the same. It's dominated with black malts and a touch of chocolate malt sweetness. The yeast gives off a subtle character, but it goes down smooth with a bit of warmth in the finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a solid offering, but nothing exceptional.

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Photo of IdrinkGas
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wrapping up some beer... so I figured I better have a beer. Got this in a great trade with GeezLynn... Thanks Geoff!!

3/4" dark brown head dies pretty quickly... no real lacing.

Smells dark with plenty of fruity esters... dark malts with no real char, just some lite coffee and slightly bigger cocoa notes... spicy phenols show on the finish.

A tad phenolic on the palate.. a bit boozy with dark fruits.... some mild clove mixes in with the black malts... the body is about what I expected, like a thicker BSDA or a fairly light bodied RIS.... Carbonation is more like a BSDA.... nice beer... good drinkability...

I would like to try this again, but I don't know that I will go out of my way to too much. Thanks again Geoff for a fantastic trade.


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Photo of cjgator3
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

Hard to believe this is already the 9th beer of the side project series. I'm excited to try this one.

A- Pours a dark black with just a hint of brown when held up to the light with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is very nice. The nose consists of a nice mixture of dark roasted malts and mocha. Not as roasty and hopppy as in the aroma as your typical Imperial Stout with maybe a little more cocoa notes. I'm liking it so far.

T- The taste like the aroma starts off with a sweet and slightly roasted malt backbone with some bittersweet chocolate and a hint of coffee. It is very sweet throughout the taste, almost to the point where you say enough with the sweetness. Then a good amount of roastiness in the finish to balance the sweetness. I like it, not overly complex but it is a very well crafted beer. Good stuff!

M- The mouthfeel is somewhere between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, I really enjoyed the Dark Side. It's another solid beer in the Side Project Series. I can't wait for number 10!

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Photo of weeare138
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears a dark brown, nearing an opaque black and a small tan head that quickly fades into a mild cap and collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of obvious espresso, cocoa, caramel, marshmallows, roasted cashews, vanilla, graham crackers...damn, this is the perfect compliment to take camping. Dad, break this mofo out when junior starts firing up the smores. Have him pass you one of those melted bitches and take a swig of this liquid goodness as a wash-down. Ohhh, yeah...thank me now, or later, pops. I made the correct call. You can even break it open while you're finishing the trout you just caught for sustanance. Nice digestif.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy, and complex with some fruitiness lingering.

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

On-tap, served in a snifter

Ink black body with a one finger mocha head. The cap falls quickly and leaves minor lacing behind.

Deep roast, cocoa, and mildly charred coffee beans. Sweetness prevails, rivaling some Extra stouts. Some plums, raisins and grapes hold down the Belgian side of things. Complex aroma.

The flavor profile is similar to the aroma. Roast, cocoa and coffee grounds lead the way with roasted nuts, plums and cherries in tow. Overall, the flavors have a slightly charred personality, rather that ripe and rich.

The body is heavy for sure with an overarching sweetness and a carbonation that is more suited for an Extra stout. The roasted malts hit you early, but fade a little too fast for me.

I found the carbonation to be tuned up too much, limiting my ability to truly enjoy this beer. I appreciate its flavors and Belgian slant, but found it to be a little too sweet and prickly.

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

Thanks to gford217 for this foil-wrapped bomber.

A: The stout (and I'll stick with stout over BSDA) is a dark black color that shows off red highlights at the narrowest part of the base. A finger and a half of head has left a few spare legs of lace.

S: The nose is yeasty sweet. You know how Belgian yeast strains impart a dark fruity zing that doesn't skimp on candi sugars to the point that it crowds out everything else including the stout component? That's what this one does. Oh yeah, and it's a little roasty.

T: I'm sold on stout until the first sip. The yeast has kicked the stout side's ass. In place of roasted flavors, candi sugars and dark figgy/raisiny fruits pop up. Behind the intense sweetness, roasted malts hang around, chocolatey and burnt. More sweetness returns on the backside, a juicy finish.

M: The stout works both angles admirably, showcasing roasted malts and an abundance of yeast. One of the better, more coalesced Belgian-style stouts.

D: The ale doesn't feel like 8.5% until you are half way through the bomber. From that point on, it seems very heavy. One of the first stouts to really nail the Belgo crossover.

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Photo of maximum12
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to the finest trader in the Sunshine State, Mr. Moose3285, for sending a bottle of this north in a recent trade.

Pours a routine, dark-cape black, no light even leaking around the edges. Smells nice, Belgian, coffee, sweets.

Well, my wife is gushing about her half of the bomber & frankly, this may be one of those rare instances where we disagree. Slice of coffee, rallies of sweetness, dollops of sugar, touch of lactose. A little thin for either a big stout of a strong dark ale, whichever way you slice the language of beer.

Decent enough beer, certainly a brew I can sit & mindlessly sip as my Twins get pounded by the Sox. But I think I'll wander upstairs & see if my wife wants the rest of it...better to put these things where they are truly appreciated.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle obtained via Local BIF from Tazz1962. Gold foiled cap. Thanks for the opportunity. <Jeremy2002 = bad trader>

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1/2" dark brown head above the opaque dark brown/black brew. Dense head lasts well, with thick slow-falling lace. Aroma is oddly light, but what is present is dark malts and spices. Taste starts with dark sweetness, spice and anise in the middle, with a warm close. Mouthfeel is smooth, maybe a touch too bubbly, and drinkability is good. Nice brew.

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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 Bung
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Very dark brown pour with a small amount of tan bubbles that form the ring.
Aroma has light cocoa and roast with malted milk ball.
Taste has the same with a little more. Pretty sweet like a chocolate malt with raisin, fig and just the faintest hint of the banana from the Belgian yeast. Mouthfeel is smooth with not a lot of carbonation going down. Pretty unique.
The sweetness is the only chink that could hurt the drinkability, otherwise very little alcohol and easy drinking.
I thought this was excellent compared to other Belgian stouts, which means I don't like them or this is not quite to style.
Most of the side projects have been at least descent and this meets the standard if not more.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

bottle into my Narke tulip...Pours a light black, the head is light tan as well, light carbonation, a head of about half a finger that is gone right away, no lacing...The aroma and taste are both very light and almost boring. Light coffee, a little sweet, just blah. Light feel on the mouth, but this is decently drinkable. I crushed a bottle my self pretty quickly.

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Photo of Pencible
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured an opaque pitch black with some dark tan head. It smelled like dry roasted coffee and semi-sweet chocolate, with some wild yeast and sweet molasses and creamy vanilla. It tasted like rich dark chocolate and wild yeast, with creamy roasted coffee and a bit of molasses and oak. It was somewhat thick with a bit of smooth carbonation, and had a semisweet aftertaste. Overall this was a great Belgian stout. It wasn't very complex, with the chocolate and coffee flavors dominating, but it was still very tasty. It had great body too, and it hid the alcohol quite well, so it was very easy to drink. There's no point in cellaring this beer, as it's ready to drink fresh. I wish there was a bit more complexity with the Belgian influence, but this was another very enjoyable Terrapin Side Project.

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Photo of claspada
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aromas are centered around roasted malts combined with dark fruits and earthy herbal hopping. Chocolate and coffee; some mild fruity yeast is there as well.

The tastes begin with roasted malts, then some chocolate, coffee and fruity Belgian yeast character comes through. Still, the flavor is pleasant but not overly complex. Fruity yeast esters accent along with earthy, herbal, grassy hops.

Mouthfeel was a lot less carbonated than I was expecting for a Belgian yeast-fermented beer. The low-medium carbonation gives a slightly tacky/syrupy mouthfeel. Body is medium-full with a dark malty-chocolate aftertaste.

Overall this is a good, drinkable brew. I feel like a broken record when I am reviewing Terrapin beers but they just make good beers, period.

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Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours black with a half-finger tan head. The head slowly recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of roasted malts with hints of unsweetened chocolate. As it warms good amounts of light fruits - dried bananas - waft out but remain second "banana" to the roasted malt and chocolate aromas.

Tastes good. Roasted malt flavors up front are joined shortly by dark chocolate flavors. Midway through the sip mild dark fruit flavors - raisins mostly with hints of prunes - enter into things. As with the smell as it warms very small amounts of banana flavors are present. The ending is mildly bitter and leaves fruit flavors - either dark or light - lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and didn't think it drank like an 8.5% ABV beer.

Overall this was another very good SP however it still hasn't eclipsed my favorite in the series SP5. That being said it's not far behind and is worth a shot.

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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