Terrapin Boom Shakalager | Terrapin Beer Company

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Terrapin Boom ShakalagerTerrapin Boom Shakalager

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Side Project #11

Added by glid02 on 05-28-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 115
Photo of farrago
3.6/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Strong two+ finger head of light tan to eggshell white foam, high degree of larger bubbles reduces retention, settles down to the surface quickly, the lacing does have adequate stick, though. Deep copper penny appearance, very good clarity with as much brown as red in the core and more a pure orange rust around the rims. Pronounced sweetness to the nose, plums to prunes, molasses and caramel, candied oranges, milk chocolate, allowing for this there is a solid spine of hops with both floral and herbaceous aspects, segues from baking spices to a pepperiness before it dissolves, never quite achieves liftoff. Full-bodied, tries real hard to spread itself cheek to cheek and then up and down, the carbonation strong enough to help ground coverage but not strong enough to add any refreshing qualities. Cane sugar, maple syrup, toffee, orange reduction, not as sweet here as in the nose although sweetness in the nose is technically a category mistake. Glazed white bread or potato bread more than graininess, still not quite flaky dessert crust. The fruit more red cherry, golden raisin, apricot and peach, no full-on dried fruit dominance. Pine, flower petals and hay to wild meadow grasses display hops, slight bitterness and mild astringency at the end but not really metallic as far as I can ascertain. Adequate degree of flavor intensity but no real complexity nor sense of twists and turns as it progresses. Which, arguably, for the price you should get.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy copper, with a 1 finger initial head that fades away to a thin ring. A little hot in the nose, and although malt driven, the malt isn't very toasty, well rounded, or bready. A little too austere and alcoholic. The flavor is similar, with a sort of vague bitterness on the finish capping things off. Not very true to style nor really very satisfying if truth be told. Oh well, not every beer turns out exactly as you'd hope.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle, 9.99 from Ned's in Lynchburg.

Appearance: A very clear light copper color with a stiff off white head and some reasonable spotty lacing.

Smell: Malty with quite a bit of sweet smelling caramel. A lot hoppier than I expected-- floral and spicy.

Taste: Like the smell, sweet caramel malt, some toastiness, and a pleasant hoppy balance. The sweetness has a slight fruitiness to it as well. Unfortunately, the alcohol is sharp and slightly unpleasant in flavor and feel. I do appreciate the warming though.

Mouthfeel: Slightly sticky and medium-full for a marzen.

Drinkability: I'm glad I tried this. Its a little expensive for what it is (part of that is the store it came from). All in all its a decent beer, that could be really good if it didnt come across so hot. A great idea and a good effort though.

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Photo of Mavajo
3.16/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color with a moderate white head. Nose and taste are pretty much exactly what you would expect - bready malts, toffee, and resiny hops (which might be the only surprise in this brew). Basically, this is just a big lager - and that's exactly how it tastes. Mouthfeel is smooth and sticky.

Basically, it hits all the right notes, but it just doesn't impress. There's nothing special here whatsoever. Another Side Project disappointment, IMO. Had it once, and won't have it again. It doesn't do anything wrong, so there's nothing I can really mark it down one - but there's just no reason to drink more than one. It's not interesting in any way.

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Photo of JayQue
3.9/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I liked this one!!! Fairly mild taste like a Marzen, but nice rich mouthfeel.

Poured into a pint glass, reddish-amber color with a fairly big white head and spotty lacing. Head retention is about average. Smell is sweet malts and grassy hops. Taste is the same, the malt is up front, sweet and rich, the Marzen bitterness comes in at the end.

A lot of Marzens are crisp but kind of thin and some have a metallic aftertaste. This is a big beer (9%). It finishes crisp but there is nothing thin about it. Nice rich, malty beer with a bitter finish.

Drinkability for a Marzen would be bad. The German mayor that said you could drive after 6 liters of Oktoberfest beer was not talking about this one!!! I'm calling this an "Imperial Marzen" and as such, the drinkability is good.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jjfoodie for sharing this beer. One of the best named beers I have tried in a long time.

The beer pours a amber color with a white head. The aroma is resiny hops and earthy hops with some toffee notes. The flavor is toffee, caramel, grapes and a little bit of alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.23/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Dave for sharing. Served in a tulip. Poured a translucent amber with a white, quarter inch skim of a head. Nose is bready/pruney, sour mash, caramel and the classic pilsener rankness at the finish. Taste consistent with nose - no real surprises here. Mouthfeel is medium-light, with a mild viscosity and a lively effervescence. Flavor profile was a bit muddled on this one - all and all, not really my thing.

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Photo of opwog
4.35/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Now Listening to: Leon Russell - Masters of War

A - I may have even mentioned this in other Terrapin beer reviews, but one thing that distinguishes Spike as a brewer is his attention to the appearance of a beer. The color and clarity of this beer is almost unparalled. Deep amber in color, perfectly clear with a nice head that maintains a nice shelf through the drink.
S - Exactly what you want in a darker lager. Roasty, nutty malt with a hint of sweet caramel and the alcohol is completely hidden.
T - The only issue here is that the ABV finally makes its presence known in the taste. There is a spiciness that must be from the hops, because it is not defined enough to be from any sort of additional ingredients. A little earthy and tart and hinting at a stock ale.
M - Very nice carbonation and body. Maybe a bit astringent and/or alcohol burn.
D - I am not sure that this is correctly categorized as a marzen, as this by far the strongest marzen that I have ever had (but I don't have a better suggestion for category, either). I think of Oktoberfest beers as one that can be drank in multiple large mugs. This is a good beer, but much more of a slow sipper.

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Photo of largadeer
2.76/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A generous extra from craytonic. Thanks!

The pour is nice, a reddish-amber hue, and once in the glass it has a solid and well-sustained head. It's what you would expect from a marzen, but a shade darker.

The aroma is on the sweet side, but clean - toasty and nutty Munich malts, faint peppery spice, a bit of date and caramel. It could be mistaken for a light doppelbock.

Caramel malt flavors are prominent, but there's plenty of nuance: peppery spice, stone fruit and dates, light earthy hops. The problem is that it has no finesse, it's like a doppelbock without enough dark malt to balance the sweetness and alcohol. It's slightly cloying up-front, and a bit astringent in the finish, which has some noticeable alcohol and an astringent grain husk flavor. In the American quest to imperialize everything, there are bound to be some (actually, many) failures, and this is one of them - this style really just doesn't work with the amped up alcohol and sweetness, it ruins the delicacy that makes a good marzen so appealing. Not that this is terrible, it's just unnecessary.

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Photo of cjgator3
2.86/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a clear copper color with an off-white head. 

S- The aroma is malty with some sweet caramel and a moderate touch of hops. The aroma is pretty subdued.

T- The taste like the aroma is dominated by the malts and caramel with a spiciness coming through in the middle along with a lingering bitterness and warmth from the alcohol in the finish. I'm just not digging the flavor profile in this one.

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

D- I love Terrapin and pretty much the entire SP series but I was let down by this one. Not something I would purchase again. 

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Photo of axeman9182
3.36/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, allowed to warm some from fridge temperature, poured into my Allagash chalice.

The beer pours a clear, rich copper/amber, and a 3 finger off white head quickly rises. Retention and lacing are decent, but not enough to propel the beer to a top notch appearance score. The aroma is alright, the expected bready malts and spicy hops are there, but there's also a harsh metallic note present that's entirely unwelcome. The flavor is a double of the nose, but garners a slightly higher score because that metallic taste, while still there, is less powerful. The carbonation isn't low per se, it's just a bit dull. That combines with a heftier than average body to create a very syrupy mouthfeel that I don't think works too well with this beer. Drinkability gets points for a total lack of alcohol, but the poor body and overall average nature of the beer means I didn't have a hard time restraining myself as I went through the bottle

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Photo of bonkers
3.6/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a snifter. It pours a medium gold in color with a sticky little white head. Bisquity and sweet malts rule the nose. The flavor is a little spicy and sweet. It finishes with a long, lingering sweetness. The beer is full bodied and has a syrupy mouthfeel that did not work for me. The high ABV is well hidden. A decent beer, but I don't think I would pick it up again.

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Photo of nickfl
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of white foam with just a hint of tan to the color. The body is a perfectly clear, amber-brown color. The foam settles fairly quickly but leaves nice lace.

S - A deep, malty aroma with lots of bread notes as well as caramel, plum, and moderate, spicy hops.

T - Thick, biscuit malt up front with lots of toasty notes and some light caramel. Spicy hops come out in the middle with some alcoholic notes. It finishes with increasingly fruity notes of plum and perhaps red apple, accompanied by sharp alcohol and strong, slightly medicinal hop bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - This is an unusual beer and I don't think that I have ever encountered anything similar to it before. It works better than I expected but there are still some issues. The malt richness in both the aroma and the flavor is excellent with a bready, biscuit character that is exactly what I would expect from an imperial O-fest. However, it falls apart towards the finish with increasingly harsh, medicinal alcohol and hop character. Additionally, the bready notes become harsh and reminiscent of burnt toast in the aftertaste. It seems like this beer would have benefited from longer lagering time to mellow out the alcohol and toasted malt character. It seems like there is a lot of unrealized potential here, so I may just have to buy another bottle and cold condition it myself to see what happens.

Update 4/23/11:

Based on my previous experience with this beer, I felt that it suffered from insufficient lagering at the brewery and that it might have the potential to improve with further cold conditioning. In order to explore this possibility, I bought another bottle which has been sitting in the back of my fridge for the last nine months.

So, has it improved? The alcohol and harsh bitterness have both mellowed out quite a bit, though there is still some phenolic harshness in the finish. It is definitely better and it has become more bock-like with aging. Still the excessive dry, toasty flavors remain as does the medicinal finishing notes; clearly long term lagering can only do so much.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
2.9/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into Bruery tulip.

Pours very dark reddish copper with just a bit of haze, and a thinnish light-khaki head that settles quickly into a layer of soapy, sudsy remnants. Nice lacing, even if the retention is a bit lacking.

Nose is a bit muddled; hops come through a bit soapy, earthy, herbal, with a clear red fruit note (strawberries, candied cherries) sitting on top of a barely-breaking-through toasty, bready caramel sweetness. The red fruit note is a bit overbearing, coming through with some noticeable alcohol presence as well. Kind of odd overall.

Taste... hmmm. Where to begin. All the things that come through in the nose are right there in the taste. Soapy, slightly over-bearing astringent hop bitterness comes in first, followed by the mix of red-fruit sweetness and vaguely boozey alcohol that sort of hovers over and masks the toasty-sweet malt underneath. Finish is long, aggressively hoppy, quite a bit of lingering bitterness and alcohol. You can clearly taste the underlying marzen influence, but... well, it just falls flat. Everything gets muddled, the beer ends up being coarse and unrefined on all fronts, and it just really isn't that pleasant. Not a drain pour, but not stellar. Hard to rate this one to style because of how far outside the style it is; I wavered between a 2.5 and a 3.0 for a long time. Should probably be counted as a 2.75 in real life.

Mouthfeel is a bit harshly carbonated, medium bodied, with just a bit of alcohol burn. Coarse, again.

Drinkability is sub-par. Nothing on this beer at all really makes me want to drink it. Again, not a drain pour, and not entirely unenjoyable, but if you've had a beer along these lines that's really well crafted (the Sierra Nevada ANniversary Imp. Helles Bock comes to mind) this one just doesn't measure up in any category.

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Photo of jmhart
3.71/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce from Green's on Ponce poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a deep bronze with a surprising white head. Head is moderately dense but fades fairly quickly. Not much carbonation in the appearance, which is good.

S- Strong sweet malts, toffee but maybe a little more grainy. Some floral hops linger on the nose after the sugar fades.

T- Delicious sweet malts combined with crisp floral hops. There's a bit of tartness to it. Definitely some toffee, and something sweet/tart like apple....yes, that's it: a muted carmel covered apple combined with some noble hops for a bit of bitterness.

M- Medium bodied, maybe a bit more. Less body than I would have expected from an "imperal lager" but not a disappointment. A fair amount of carbonation and not so much bite from the alcohol.

D- This was a really delicious beer. Smooth drinking, with a decent body and some wonderful flavors. However, it's a weird brew as a summer release. The dark profile and deep flavors almost make this much more of a fall beer. It's too big, dark, and dehydrating for the summer. Not really refreshing at all like a good Munich lager or Czech Pils.

So, overall, good beer, but definitely a weird summer release. I'd buy 2 or 3 and save them until the temperature starts to cool off. Maybe that's Terrapin's intent.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.5/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Chilled bomber into a glass. A generous extra from jophish17. Thanks Joe!

A: Pours a crystal clear amber body in the glass. With a finger of (short lived) off-white head adorning it, the pour makes for a beautiful looking brew. Too bad the head vanishes so quickly. Thin collar, no lacing.

S: Floral notes with a hint of citrus, earth, and spice. I kind of like the aroma. Malt is noticeable as a pungent blend of toast and some caramel.

T: Much less complex than the nose suggests. A small spicy, earth flavor on the hop side, with toast representing the malt faction. They're both bullied by a powerful presence of booze, which makes the beer feel slick and hot.

M: Hot finish. Medium-bodied. Low-medium carbonation.

D: It wasn't undrinkable, but it wasn't particularly enjoyable, either. I'd skip it.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.2/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bomber poured into a nonic pint glass. Slightly hazy orange/amber with a modest off-white head that doesn't stick around too long and leaves little in the way of lacing.

Floral and citrus notes seem to waft here and there through a rather boozy nose. A bit bready, a bit sweet.

Not a smooth drinker. The sweet maltiness is rather meek, just about drowned out by alcohol and, to a lesser degree, a spicy/prickly bitterness that didn't show up in the nose at all. These flavors linger in the finish.

Overall impression: Something seems a little off here. It could certainly stand a more robust maltiness (both toasted and sweet). Maybe a bit of cellaring would help it come together. Not something I'd recommend in its current state, though. I'm not convinced this is a style that benefits from "imperializing".

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Photo of superdedooperboy
3.6/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22-ounce bottle poured into a Terrapin-branded shaker pint glass.

Pours a beautiful clear copper-amber with a thick frothy off-white head that holds out briefly before falling away to a thin cap that mostly fails to grab hold of the walls of the glass as it fades.

Munich malt makes itself known in the nose, with a light aroma of faint caramel and some lightly browned toast. Pleasing and certainly not indicative of anything other than your typical Bavarian Märzen.

The palate says things differently. Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated; sweet melanoidin-rich malts show themselves at the fore, but alcohol quickly makes itself apparent, bold and brash, providing a bit of slickness to the mouthfeel and not letting up until the hops show themselves in the rear, spicy and wishing for the domination that the alcoholic warmth simply will not allow. Finishes with a trio of faint bready malt, dry, bitter hops, and drier alcoholic warmth.

Drinkability is severely hindered by the alcohol in this "Imperial Lager." It seems apparent that if the alcohol wasn't so out-of-control, this would make a well-balanced and interesting heavier-hitting version of your typical Festbier, but sadly that isn't the case. Perhaps some tweaking would make this a nice seasonal next to (or alternating with) Pumpkinfest, but until the alcohol is toned down, this simply remains too unrefined for the lager realm.

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Photo of Pencible
3.21/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A: This poured clear copper with moderate light tan head.
S: It smelled like sour lager yeast with bready malt and copper hops, and some sharp lemon zest.
T: It tasted like bready malt and roasted barley, with sour lager yeast and copper hops, and a little lemon zest and waxy hops. It had a sour aftertaste with quite a bit of alcohol warming.
M: It was fairly thick with moderate carbonation.
D: This wasn't a great smelling or tasting beer, and the alcohol was very noticeable, so it was surprisingly challenging to drink and enjoy. The body was great, but this brew otherwise missed the mark. I love Terrapin, but lagers apparently aren't for them.

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Photo of billab914
3.38/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. Poured a beautiful crystal clear deep copper color with a off white half inch filling the rest of the glass. It had some good head retention and decent lacing as well. Excellent looking beer overall.

The aroma has a sweet grainy, bready and malty quality to it. Some earthy hops shine through a bit as well. Pretty decent aroma for the style.

The taste has a grainy and malty quality to it with some caramel coming through as well. A big dose of dry, earthy hops come through and last well after the finish. Little bit of alcohol comes comes through but not too bad. The earthy hoppiness was definitely much bolder then any other beer of this style I've had.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is OK, it had some good flavors going on but I just don't think this style lends itself well to being imperialized. I feel it lost a lot of it's drinkability by being such a big beer instead of a light easy drinking one drank in a larger quantity. An interesting beer but probably not one I'd buy again.

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Photo of mntlover
2.7/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Pours a a clear copper color with a decent two finger sized tan head that falls with some lacing.

Aroma is big malty, bready notes for a second almost smelled like banana bread but that passed. There are light fruity notes mingled with toasted grains hints of nuts but mostly just big on malt.

Taste is woo lots of malt is the first thing you notice sadly the next thing you notice is alcohol. Defiantly a malt bomb big at start some caramel noted might be hints of fruit but everything is overwhelmed by the alcohol that is now stuck in my mouth. Some bittering hops mingle with alcohol for the finish. Man this one smelled so nice but tastes not so good, or should say the finish is bad.

Mouthfeel is good big medium good level of carbonation.

Drinkability is well terrible, man if they could of hid the alcohol it would of been wonderful, but they didn't. Alcohol blends and goes well with some styles however a Marzen is not one of them Imperial or not.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.93/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

When poured into a pint glass, the foamy beige head, and the amber color made this look more like and IPA than a Märzen. The smell was more full of citric hops than anticipated. There was a distinct caramelized malt backbone to the aroma. The taste was a natural followup with a bready to sugary sweetness, a toasty middle, and a hint of spice in the finish. Alcohol did not feel like 9%, and the beer was easy to enjoy. A pleasing, long drawn out sweetness lingered on between sips. The sweetness may be a little much for some, but if you can tolerate that, this one will be a rewarding pour.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.06/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received in a trade from dpodratsky3.

A - An amber/yellow color with a white head that had a decent amount of lacing.

S - Smells sweet with a bit of bready and grainy backbone. It's mostly malts, but really not a whole lot else going on.

T - Basically a lot of sweet malts. Decent amount of alcohol burn, not much else. It is somewhat marzen like, but the malts aren't quite as "deep."

M - Medium body with a decent amount of carbonation.

D - Not great, couldn't finish the bomber.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours an amber color with 1 inch of white head.

s - Smells of pretty mild caramel malts, and light citrus.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, light dark fruits, and light citrus.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - An ok beer, but probably not something I would seek out again.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.5/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle courtesy of Ding!

A clear copper colour with a 1 finger head of foam and some spotty lacing, it sure looks the part of a Marzen, damn the upped abv.

Oodles of sweet malt greet my nosebuds, it smells fruity as well. Some light graininess in the background. Can't say the same for the alcohol. It's there.

The taste is grainy, some caramel sweetness but less than I expect going by the smell, and plenty of alcohol and hoppy bitterness, something I was NOT looking forward to.. Very very warming and actually kind of burns my throat. Some of the "Imperials" of lower abv styles I've been able to deal with/enjoy. Sadly, not this one.

Medium bodied bordering on full, with medium carbonation, it has a good enough mouthfeel.

Drinkability? Let me just say that I'd PASS if someone offered me one. It isn't to my liking any which way...

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Terrapin Boom Shakalager from Terrapin Beer Company
3.37 out of 5 based on 115 ratings.
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