Terrapin Beer Company

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American Imperial IPA
4.04 | pDev: 11.39%
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: This beer is a hop lover’s dream come true, though some say it’s the 100% Maris Otter malt that really steals the show. Drinkability is high with this supremely balanced brew, but it still packs a punch for even the most discerning Hophead.

Destroying palates from Athens to Tokyo!
Reviews: 218 | Ratings: 947 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mothmanscott
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From notes 5/25/13: Pours an opaque deep gold producing 2 fingers of foamy, white head that leaves motes and streaks of lacing. Aroma is abundant citrusy orange and subdued grapefruit hops backed by sweet caramel malts. Taste is hugely hoppy as implied by the name! Oily orange zest with tropical fruits and a hint of pine needles. Malts provide sugar cane syrup and caramel tones. Alcohol spice is prominent. Huge hop bite and bitterness from start through aftertaste. Floral tones and hints of leafy dark tea in the finish. Taste seems fairly simple at first but is actually complex for IPAs (even a double) of this time period. Complex almost in a Belgian ale sort of way. Mouthfeel is moderately heavy bodied, slightly chewy and mildly astringent with low moderate carbonation. Alcohol is overly apparent even in a 10.3 ABV and really steps forward as the brew progresses toward room temperature.

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Photo of VoodooBear
3.18/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark, clear, gold color. Very tiny head that goes away quickly and leaves a thin ring. Lacing is decent, clinging to the glass in small patches and sliding away quickly.

Scent: The dominant smells are of sweet malt and alcohol. There's also some hop notes as well but they are subdued, which is atypical for a DIPA.

Taste: Spices, grapefruit, pine and malt notes. There's also a very strong alcohol presence just like in the nose.

Mouthfeel: It's smooth and creamy. Medium bodied, with medium carbonation.

Overall: A bit underwhelming for a Double IPA. No big scents or flavors are present, as one would expect from the style. Instead, you get a well balanced beer with a distinct alcohol character that while aromatic and tasty, is not particularly special or noteworthy.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a snifter and a tulip. The appearance was a nice looking hazy pale orange color with some light brown tinges running lightly around the sides of the glass. The head was about a light one fingered white foaminess sticking for a good minute before it died in a lumpy sort of way. There’s a good amount of lacing clinging all over the place (nice show!). The smell had a bitter/dank/citrusy and somewhat resinous grapefruitiness running all over my nose and pummeling it into submission as to confusing it with bitter hops. The taste had a nice citrusy sweetness running over my tastebuds. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a sessionability closing in on perhaps one or two beers of this in a night. Overall, very good DIPA that I would love to have again.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was supposed to be going over to York tonight, but the local bus was running so late that I missed my ride. Instead, I am going to spend the evening with some beer and listening to music. For this one, it is B.O.C.'s "Godzilla".

From the bottle: "This monster beer terrorizes your taste buds with an earth shattering amount of hops while the 100% Maris Otter Malt obliterates all inferior beers in its path."; "'Destroying Palates From Athens to Tokyo' Cheers! [undersigned] Spike & John".

I Pop!ped the cap and began a gentle pour since this Vintage 2014 bottle was beginning to get some age and I didn't want to stir it up too mightily. I still got a brief finger of dense, tawny head that quickly fell away to wisps. Color was a hazy Amber to Deep Amber/Light Copper (SRM = > 9, < 13). Nose was big and boozy with a caramel sweetness and a spearmint hoppiness. Mouthfeel was big and thick and felt like a dollop of syrup had been placed on my tongue! Right after that, I got a shock of heat and a wash of hops and things were off and running. My exhalation felt like a blast out of Hopzilla's burning maw and I felt tears welling up in my eyes. Phew! This was another no playin' around beer. The finish burnt all of the way down my esophagus and I felt like I could trace its length into my stomach. I gave an inadvertent, unexpected belch and it felt like something was aflame somewhere. It was! My breath had set my kitchen cabinetry ablaze and I abandoned my seat to extinguish the fire. Once order had been restored, I sat back down to finish what I had started. Phew. Let's do this again real soon, like in 2015.

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Photo of Southerndiscomfort
1/5  rDev -75.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This might be one of the worst brews I've tasted. It's boozy as shit they don't hide it at all and its weak in hops as most offerings from terrapin. They should stick to stouts and porters.

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Photo of MDHopster
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

cloudy brass color, smell of grass and pine, slight citrus. Good hoppiness, citrus and pine bear out. Nice bitterness to mouthfeel, American IPA balance.

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Photo of SteveB24
3.33/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I think there was some potential here, with pleasant tropical fruit notes in the background however the booze was VERY overpowering, and it was very hard to drink, even with slow sips.

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Photo of jsausley
3.79/5  rDev -6.2%

Strong hoppy body but a significantly noticeable lack of hop nose. Strong and sweet with a lot of malt character underneath but not as hoppy as the name implies. B+.

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Photo of BeerDocT
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance 3.5: Poured out a cloudy, murky honey color. OK lacing, virtually no head.

Smell 4.0: Great bouquet on this beer. Piney and spicy with a deep note of sweet malt.

Taste 3.75: Front is flat with a nice alkaline hoppiness. Middle is where an almost saltiness hits you along with a very nice and deep treacly malt hit. Also in the middle is where a great blend of hops starts to assault the tastebuds. Finish is where the grassy, piney blend of hops seeps in from around the sides of the palate and ends in a sweet grapefruit taste that would be fantastic if this beer were ice cold. Aftertaste is somewhat...skunky almost...with a lemony-hopiness and more of the treacly malt; pleasant and it fades quicky.

Mouthfeel 3.0: Good mouthfeel; somewhat slick and thick, but not a distraction.

Overall 3.5: Very good beer, but kind of a chimera, and a chimera where all the parts don't necessarily fit. Add to it all the 10%+ ABV (no alcohol taste at all, BTW) and you are dealing with a beer that would be good for the occasional quaff, but not one that you could session or consider a "go to" brew. Still, good for a try and certainly not a bad beer.

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Photo of beerdedking
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%

Short and sweet review. Well, 'cause this was the sweetest DIPA I've ever had. Like orange marmalade in a glass.
Very malt centric, it even seemed as though the orange flavor came from the malt but not the hops. Perhaps this was a bit old, but
still a 2014 vintage. No smack of hops up front, and no bittering dry hops in the back end.
Overall, it was good, I sucked it right down. However, it reminded me more of a Belgian IPA than a DIPA.
DO NOT BUY IF YOU WANT A PALATE BURNING EXPERIENCE! But if you'd like to try a nice beer that is sweet and unassuming, go for

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Photo of Flounder57
4/5  rDev -1%

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass. No snifter were available.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pale orange color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Candied orange, caramel, herbal, grassy, pungent, onion, garlic, toasted, and biscuity malts.

Taste: Same as above. Mild bitterness in the rear.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, nice booze, medium carbonation, and tingly bitterness.

Overall: Pretty nice DIPA. Got better as it warmed, but this beer could possibly be aged for a bit too.

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Photo of arlingtonjoe
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice cloudy orange with a cream colored two finger head that settles nicely coating the edge of the glass.

S: There is citrus and ripe melon in the nose along with some biscuit. A little dank.

T: Tastes of pine, mango, tangerine, some caramel notes.

M: Nice mouthfeel overall, resiny, a little sweetness with a light spicy bite and some mustiness on the finish.

O: An interesting brew overall, somewhat remniscent of early batches of Devils Dancer.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at World Market in Hoover Alabama for $3.00 341ml bottle. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Very good. Pours with a surprising amount of head for a high alcohol DIPA. Dark orange color.

S- PERFECT DIPA! Absolutely wonderful. Coriander, orange peel, musty.

T- Excellent. Lots of hops but not too bitter. Barely can tell it's over 10% alcohol. Caramel galore

M- Excellent for an IPA. Dry and tart.

O- Excellent. Watch out for the alcohol. Excellent cold but gets hot as it warms. Keep it in the bottle and pour as needed

Food Pairing

I tried this wonderful DIPA out with... T-Bone steak and baked potato. Not my cup of tea. Way overpowered the steak straight off the BBQ. This beer would go very well with sushi though.


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Photo of tobelerone
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a Victory Willibecker pint glass.

Pours a dark gold/orange color with a sturdy cream colored head. Body is cloudy and lacing is quite sticky. You can tell right away from the aroma this will be one of those "traditional" throwback DIPAs by the big and assertively maltiness counterbalanced by grapefruity hop notes.

Flavor is as the nose indicates; this isn't a contemporary HF/Lawsons/TG affair, with the light body and crystal clear hop flavors those beers are known for. Instead you get a chewy, sweet caramel malt character that's almost bready, the old grapefruit/orange/earthy/pine hop profile and so forth. Bitterness is there but is quite mitigated by the sweetness of the malts. Maybe i haven't had one of these in while - it strikes me as kind of a dinosaur at this stage in the game - but it does taste pretty good nonetheless.

Body is medium full and carbonation is just below medium, and there's a pleasant roundness and slightly sticky aspect to the beer. Doesn't linger excessively and again the bitterness is surprisingly controlled.

My ultimate impression is that this is a sweeter DIPA reminiscent of the last wave, still tasty, but so...four years ago?

Edit: I wrote my review then read the review immediately below it...EvoJoe nailed it, there's definitely lots of pineapple here...pineapple upside down cake? Couldn't place it at first but that's definitely it.

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Photo of tmm313
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Hazy copper/orange color. Creamy 1 finger head. Good lacing.

S- Tangerine, peach, floral, caramel/toffee, pineapple, and subtle pine.

T- Super sweet tangerine, pineapple, and peach on the tongue. Immediately shifts to bitter upon swallowing. Grapefruit, caramel, spice, toast, pine, and light resin.

M- Medium body. Drying and resinous.

O- This was pretty good. I've had better and worse. The aromas were what I'll remember most, but overall a solid IPA.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful brick orange. Soft light emanates form the body of the beer to show off golden yellow hues and various shades of hazed orange. Fat head of khaki foam that lasted well. Nose is tangy ripe pineapple. A bit of sugary malt. Some candied orange peel. Earthy pine. A bit of bread and spice. Dank. No alcohol on this nose.

Taste follows the nose all the way. It becomes complex as it warms. The fruits all have their turn on the palate. Pink grapefruit, tangy sweet pineapple, mango and orange. The booze is just a bit of warmth int he swallow. The malt comes up a bit impertinent in this one to offer some chewy bread. The bitter is deep in the beer and is part of the mouthfeel. (BRAVO) Creamy, lingering sweet finish with a surprising crispness and one last bit of bread before you are done.


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Photo of barczar
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant light copper with a frothy cream head that leaves sticky lacing as it slowly dissipates.

Aroma is sweet toffee, bready, and floral, with a hint of citrus and notes of peach, which complement the caramel malt well. There's a bit of toasted bread and resin adding complexity.

Flavor reveals a fairly sweet caramel, nutty malt backbone, with big citrus underlying. Notes of grapefruit and tart peach emerge, along with pineapple and mango. There's a touch of diacetyl. The finish is fairly resiny and bitter, countering the malt sweetness nicely.

Body is thick, with moderate carbonation, an astringent bite, and substantial alcohol warmth.

On the sweet side, with nice hop flavoring and complexity. Bitterness balances well. May be a tad cloying, and the diacetyl shouldn't be there, but...still a good beer. With the great fruit character, this one grows on me the more I drink of it.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.54/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Vintage: 2014.

Pours a hazy dark honey orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, citrus zest, and slight herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet honey, citrus zest, and citrus juice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with nice citrus forward hop qualities all around.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is a beautiful bright but cloudy orange in color with a nice, off-white, almost yellowish head that left rings inside the pint glass that never did go away.

Smell – The orange rind is raucous here and the pine resin makes this a “kitchen sink” DIPA. The Terrapin website boasts of the Otto malts here but damned if I can find any at the nose.

Taste – There’s some sweetish malt at the taste but man these hops are huge. This ale is dripping with hop resin and the aftertaste lingers forever. This is not cheap. These are huge, monster hops, very complex, and almost has to be the last beer of the night.

Mouthfeel – The carbonation is light in keeping with the style and the body quite big if not full. It’s smooth with a strong bitter finish.

Drinkability – This is a good-drinking DIPA but very big and not for the novice. If you like big DIPAs though and are a little burnt out on the cheap pretenders give this a try.

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Photo of rawfish
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazy orange/copper with a small half finger head that leaves rings of lacing on the glass. Retention is decent but there wasn't alot to start with.

Immediately hit with toffee and sweet crystal malt with a trail of heavy and pungent orange citrus, pine, under ripe mangoes and alcohol. Big hops and big malt, candy in a glass.

Malts are dominating and overly hearty, brown sugar, caramel and honey sweetness, a complete sugar rush. Followed by a welcomed pine, juicy and pungent orange citrus, cubed pineapple and earthiness. Moderate bitterness is really swamped by the sticky malt as is the alcohol.

Big hearty body that combined with the smooth carbonation really lives up to the -zilla. Alcohol is really dampered by the malt which is robust and wipes out any hopes for drying sensation.

Huge, sticky DIPA, very juicy but also overly malt forward. I like how Terrapin just swung for the fences here. I'm on the fence about it but this was a nice night cap.

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Photo of Radome
4.24/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, "Vintage: 2014".

A - Color is a nice rich orange/gold. Hazy. Color is just off white. It is thick and creamy with large bubbles and a slight oily sheen. Thick lacing on the glass.

S - Aromas are a balanced mix of malt and hops, with a slight tilt toward the hops. The malt is bready and clean. The hops contribute clean grapefruit, tropical fruits and low earthiness. There is a low butterscotch in the background, either from the yeast or a slight "flaw", but I don't find it unpleasant.

T - Flavors are dominated by hops. The taste is mostly grapefruit with some piney notes. Light tropical fruit. The malt asserts itself in mid-palate like lightly toasted white bread. The finish is slightly sweet with another strong hit of the same hops flavors. Very light yeast character and a light sweetness from the alcohol.

M - Medium to full body. Smooth, creamy carbonation. Mouthcoating sweetness that fades before the drier finish. Strong hops bitterness combines with significant alcohol burn, but does not come across as harsh.

O - This is a fine Double IPA. It's focus is on the hops, which are more interesting than some typical NW varieties, but there is enough sweet malt to cut the hops down to a semblance of balance.

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Photo of benloho
3.92/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slight hazy bright copper color, with a finger and a half of creamy head that sticks around. Nice lacing. Good looking beer in the glass.
S: Getting citrusy, fruity hops. A bright hop profile but lighter than expected. This beer has some age to it so I guess that has affected the hop character a bit. I swirl the glass and get more aroma. Sweet caramel malt with light fruits - pears, nectarines, apples.
T: First taste the hops bite at me and smash my palate but fade and make room for the malt. Not a malt bomb but with each sip I get more alcohol and slightly less balance, as it begins to overpower the hops.
MF: Body is medium, creamy not sticky. For 10.3% ABV the alcohol is hidden pretty well.
O: I like this beer a lot. Reminds me of DFH 90 Minute. But is clear that the hops aren't as present throughout as they should be, or would have been a couple of months ago. But a real solid DIPA.

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Photo of Zach136
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2014. Reviewed from notes writeen 4/30/14. Poured into an IPA glass.

A - Yellow-orange, crystal clear body. Rocky white head and excellent lacing.

S - Sticky resinous hops, caramel sweetness, slight touch of booze. Not intense enough to warrant the -zilla moniker IMO.

T - Piney hop profile with fruity supporting notes. There's a BIG malt backbone that brings the hop-bomb into balanced territory.

M - Big bodied, sticky mouthfeel.

O - A classic big beer I look forward to every year.

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: hazy orange, fairly substantial head on the pour that mostly recedes.
Smell: razor sharp citrus and grapefruit hoppiness balanced by malty sweetness.
Taste: same profile as the nose. Very nice.
Overall: outstanding dipa. Many out there these days but why not another.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this on tap at StoneGrille in York, PA, served chilled in a goblet.

The color is golden amber with mild haze and thin light head with fine bead.
The smell has a strong citrus quality with some orangeade like odor with mango and slight grapefruit with light alchol in the nose. The feel is very good with fruity tangy and moderately bitter hop texture with moderate carbonation and light astringency with low alcohol in the feel.

The taste is very good, tangy with mango in the hop flavor and fruitiness is strong with some mild lime zest and hint of orange with slight malt in the back with gentle alcohol flavor adding to the tropical and citrus flavors the hops give off. The finish is relatively dry with a subtle warmth. Overall this is a seriously good Imperial IPA, nice amount of hop flavor and for the strength the alcohol is well hidden.

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Hopzilla from Terrapin Beer Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 947 ratings