Terrapin TomFoolery | Terrapin Beer Company

92 Reviews
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Terrapin TomFooleryTerrapin TomFoolery

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is Terrapin's 14th side project.

Added by Anthony1 on 02-08-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 140
Photo of airheadmtrcycle
4.5/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As a newbie I look to BA for a lot of guidance. BA says saisons or farmhouse ales are supposed to be sturdy summer fare. Terrapin's Side project #14, TomFoolery, is dark as a porter or stout, but without quite the mouth feel one would expect from either. The head is thick, creamy and velvety smooth. So TomFoolery passes that test easily.

BA also claims farmhouse ales are supposed to be complex, maybe even fruity in aroma and taste. It passes that test, as well. I really like the yeast aroma and flavor; it's got that bubble gum thing going on, but it's tarter than I've experienced from a Belgian yeast prior to now, not that far from a Granny Smith apple. It finishes clean, but with a nice little bit of bitterness. It might be a bit sweeter than a true saison might be, but it plays off the tartness perfectly.

I think Terrapin nailed this one, not only in producing a decent farmhouse ale (according to BA's standards), but making one that I personally like quite a bit. I'll bet if I scour the Atlanta/Athens area I'll still find a bottle or two lying around. I'm gonna grab a few and see what some age might do to this excellent beer. Highly recommended!

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.42/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a tan head. In the aroma, a small roast, small earthiness and a hint of tartness. In the taste, caramel like roast, dry earth, and a small tartness. A sour bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry, mellow tartness, with hints of caramel and coffee in the aftertaste. Like a lightly tart porter. Nice earth and roast, quite different but good.

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Photo of russpowell
4.41/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of of my few bottles I brought back from NC

Pours mahogany with 3 fingers of caramel colored head. Crazy head retention & lacing

S: Dirty & funky with pear notes, plus green apple skins up front

T: Some chcoclate notes mingle with pears & green apple & spicy notes & dryness up front. Some carob notes mingle with a touch of green peppercorn with lemons & green apple, plus hay notes once warm. Finishes with some earthy notes, peppery & boozey pear notes & green apple skins

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation & crisp

This really wowed me, Terrapin I wish you distributed near-by...

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.23/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber I picked up at World Market, the beer is jet black, and pours with a huge, light brown, foamy, thick head that shoots up to fill the glass at first, and then does a cascade settle into about a two inch head. I poured this one in a weisse vase, and that did a lot to retain a good portion of the head once it became more manageable. Nose is effervescent at first, with slight hints of dark malt, roasty/toasty notes, and some spicing. The beer is light and slick in mouth, with a somewhat oily consistency. Flavors are muddled, and it's hard to discern the individual characteristics. Very well balanced. There is a dark, sharp flavor, with some light spicing of clove and coriander, and a low-grade sweetness that sets the table for everything. Very interesting flavors, and balanced very well, as said before. The aftertaste is minimal, and almost has a fig/date sweetness to it. The finish is slightly dry, but leaves the mouth in a neutral state. Very easy to drink. This is almost on the border of being confusing when trying to describe. I thoroughly enjoy it, but that's about the only thing I can say with any degree of certainty. I would recommend trying this brew if you can get your hands on it.

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Photo of sociallooter
4.21/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

so, this beer hits it straight home. Its almost like a fucking stupid trick...black=malt bitterness (stupid people strong) because it is so dark you expect it to leave that bitterness on the palette...well...ITS A BLACK HEFEWIZEN!!! not really...its a farmhouse terd...delicious, farty, earthy, hefewizen'ry, fucking good.

This beer reminds me of having this beer....its one of a kind. Terrapin is one of my favorite breweries of all time (not bias). Stone sublimely self righteous {same category of awesomeness}

I recommend this beer....to people who like beer!!!

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Photo of TheWhiskerReview
4.12/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a dense tan head and has a very wine-like nose, briefly Chardonnay-like with ripe tropical fruit, cinnamon, peach and vanilla flavors, turning quickly towards banana and bready aromas. The palate is full-bodied and malty, with vanilla and apricot notes, tons of spice, and a rich chocolate flavor ushering in the long, estery banana and caramel finish.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.12/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: basically looks pitch black. good looking head and good retention. lacing not so much, but otherwise a good looking brew.

S: a very maple syrup smell starts off the bat. banana too. chocolate and darker aromas work their way in with the fruit.

T: flavor is very unique. lots of fruit. figs mixes with grapes. a roasted finish that is also very dry. crisp.

M: moderate, yet delicate fizz on a medium bdoy.

D: certainly a refeshing take on the saison style. an easy drinking brew that is super crisp but also flavorfull.

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Photo of beer2day
4.03/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very near black with hints of cherry red. 1-finger brown head leaves behind a very nice ring of foam. Strings of lace follow down all sides of the glass.

Hints of unripe bananas and lightly roasted malt come out as the beer warms. Not much up front, but does build gradually.

Stronger roasted malt comes out in the flavor. More green bananas and cloves come out in the finish. Slight toffee quality there, too. Very earthy. Could stand to be a bit stronger in the flavor, but that might move it out of style.

Feel is decently creamy with a light fizz.

Overall, a pretty decent drinker. I'd get this one again. One definitely worth trying if dark beer is your style, but need something a bit lighter for a warmer day.

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Photo of Immortale25
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours an absolutely opaque black color with a 1/2 inch head that soon diminishes to a 1/8 inch ring around the snifter's edge and has a large spot of surface foam in the center. Sticky slivers and spots of lacing as the level drops.

S- Wow. I didn't know what to expect from a "black saison" but it sure smells like a saison, with a glassy malt aroma in the back being the only difference. Also a bit of caramel.

T- Tomfoolery indeed. Tart, semi-funky taste in the front that's offset by a metallic bitter from the malts, once again, in the back. I don't know how to feel about this yet. I must say, the alcohol is concealed extremely well, so that's a plus. Not spicy as the label says, but the fact that rye and wheat malts were used in this makes the flavor very agreeable for me.

M- Snappy and full due to the medium carbonation.

O- What a hybrid of flavors! Very unexpected and unique but also very tasty.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick, opaque texture. There was an inch of tan-colored, foamy, long-lasting head. Average lacing. Looked more like a stout or a porter than a saison, but I guess that's the point.

S: A nice bouquet of Belgian yeast, malt, and some spices.

T: Tasted of roasted malt, cloves, Belgian yeast, and a bit of rye. The maltiness was more pronounced than in most saisons. A vibrant, if slightly unusual flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This beer won't be for everyone, especially fans of the classic saison style, but I think it's pretty drinkable.

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Photo of bamadog
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this one up earlier this spring while on a trip to Boone, NC. Review is from notes taken on 6/19/2011 and poured from the bottle to a tulip.

Appearance: Like the name suggests, it's black (duh); starts with a 3 finger, dark brown head with solid retention; body is dark and opaque, but as far as the sides of the glass go, you can see small trails of quick, brown carbonation bubbling up quickly; head has great retention; head eventually fades to a full, but uneven cap and it leaves big patches of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Interesting, there's definitely the light floral, perfumey and spicy sensibility to it like a standard Saison should; sweet Belgian candi sugar malt backing, and just a touch of alcohol lingering in the back as well; smell is fairly robust -- I'm enjoying it.

Taste: Taste is pretty solid, and matches the nose pretty well with the perfumey and spicy sentiment, as well as the candi sugars as well; however, it does veer from the norm after that -- there's definitely a dark, roasty presence with a touch of a bittersweet chocolate; toasty graininess, touch of rye; warming alcohol makes an appearance at the end. I'm surprised this beer has only gotten a B- average, I feel like it should be higher.

Mouthfeel: Body is nearly medium in weight; carbonation is strong, but not sharp, more like an aggressive foaminess bubbling around in the mouth; a thick, sticky coating is left all over the roof of the mouth; gums are left tingly from the carbonation and moderately higher ABV.

Overall: I like it, and think it is a refreshing beer and nice for a warm summer night; sweet flavors with a nice grainy balance and earthy presence, it brings a lot to the table. I'm pleased to have gotten to try this one, and hope that my review does it justice. Cheers to Terrapin for another great beer.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: two finger thick off white head on a jet black body. Some lacing.

S: saison fruitiness but more on the plum and raisin side. Some Belgian yeast aromas as well.

T: very interesting brew. Starts off with the sharp fruitiness and corriander of a saison and rapidly tapers to a dark fruit, light toasted malt, licorice and chocolate finish which verges on a Belgian dark strong style. Very dynamic and complex.

M: lighter bodied than expected and lighter side f moderate carbonation.

Overall: only my second 'black' saison but this one is certainly a dynamic and interesting beer. A must try for sure.

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Photo of atsprings
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On cask during Flying Saucer Raleigh's 11th anniversary served in a tulip glass a deep opaque black with a thin slowly diminishing light tan head that leaves decent lacing on the glass. Aroma is lemon peel, pepper, and a bit of cocoa. The taste is a nice blend of sweet malts, spice and just a touch of dark malts, very interesting for such a dark beer. The beer is quite light and crisp with smooth carbonation. This is a great saison, if I were blind, I would think this was a regular saison.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.92/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The deep brown to black color made this beer resemble a Stout more than a Saison. The head was foamy and two finger thick. The aroma, unlike the looks, was very typical of a Saison, with a earthy/floral sweetness and a funky spiciness. The taste was sweet, tart, and due to the use of roasted malts, somewhat astringent and chocolaty. The individual elements were not as strong as in a true Saison or Porter, but played very well against each other, to create a unique profile. If there was one thing I would have hoped for, it would have been some more spiciness and complexity (perhaps by adding brett fermentation). The beer felt thick to medium in the mouth, and had an oily texture. Very interesting, but a bit more muted than what it could have been.

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Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a few samples of this last night at a gathering of beer geeks.Poured a deep ruddy brown with a fairly large blooming off white head that left broken chunks of lace behind as it settles slowly.Phenols mainly in the nose along with a sour tinge,phenols were a bit more in check on the palate with that lactic sherry vinegar flavor coming into play but not overpowering.There is a decent shot of dark bread and bitter chocolate to round out a pretty complex flavor profile.Its not bad,I had low expectations but I actually kinda liked the beer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber bottle, side project #14. No freshness/bottling date info to be had.

Pours basically black, under a large dark tan head, that stays, goes to a frothy cap and ample sheeting, stringy lace, and still a thicker, tiny bubble sheen.

The nose is loaded with one note and that is brightly lemon.

Tasty saison, its black but it doesnt taste it. Roast notes are not evident. Some pepper, more lemony citrus, some earthyness. Better then moderate hoppy crunch late.

Well done, I enjoyed it, well worth a try.

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Photo of shamrock1343
3.87/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice chocolate color with a good foam. A nice malty smell with a hint of honey.

A feel taste on the tongue. Very good with sharp cheddar.

It is an innovative Saison but I can think of many better Saisons Cuvee de Fluers, Saison Vatour, Hennepain.

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Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black coloured body with only a little head.Above average mouthfeel and satisfying. A good malting,light roasting, a blackbier with some spices,rye,some bananna, pepper, anise. Unoffensive and unexception, still a pleasant drinking beer. Thanks Doug.

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Photo of axeman9182
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, chilled and poured into my Duvel tulip.

Tomfoolery pours almost jet black, but faint whisps of cherry highlight come through at the edges of the glass. The khaki colored head comes up to about three fingers in height before slowly receding. Lacing is way off for the style though, barely any left down the side of the glass. The nose shows a bit too much cocoa from the dark malts, with peppery yeast notes way in the background. Those same two flavors are what stand out on my palate, but in a much better balance than the aroma. It tastes more like what I'd imagine a black saison to taste like, whereas the aroma was more of an imperial stout fermented with a saison yeast. The body is just a little bit full for the style, but that's at least partially negated by a picture perfect, very active carbonation. While the execution wasn't flawless, Tomfoolery is a solid effort at putting a new spin on the saison.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.81/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty much a black pour. Light tan finger of creamy looking head, dissipating to a nice frothy film and nice lacing.

Aroma is pretty tamed and less than exciting. Theres a touch of roasted malts, and some spice and yeast breadiness.

Taste is much better. Roasted malts, and a hint of chocolate mingle nicely with spice, peppery hops, herbal notes and nice earthiness. It's a pretty decent saison in the black.

Slight creamy feel, lightly crisp, maybe a tad bubbly. Lighter in body.

Drinkability is great. Goes down easy and I breezed through the bomber. This is a pretty decent saison, with a nice unique twist.

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Photo of jcreegan
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter glass. Purchased two weeks ago for roughly $8.

Poured great. Deep black color with 2 fingers of mocha coffee color head. The head disappeared quickly and left no lacing.

I am just getting into saison beers so I am not that familiar with the style standards. However, I love rye beers as well as dark beers. This one drank very smoothly. All flavors are very subtle. Hints of malts and carmel as well as earth and some light sour tones.

For 7+% this beer has no tastes of alcohol and is very drinkable. I didn't fall in love with this beer but did enjoy it.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle - $7.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a black body with an initially tall, airy beige head, that it soon settles and condenses into a fine wisp of suds.

Smell: Tomfoolery smells winey and spicy with incorporated, restricted roasty, chocolate notes. Vaguely tart, vaguely lactic throughout. A bit more banana and clove-flavored coffee as this one warms.

Taste: Mildly sweet pale, toasty, bready malts with faint infusions of chocolate and coffee (very, very light on those two). The flavor takes on a splash of chilled mulled wine dosed with a bit more anise powder, cloves, and some ripe banana slices and small squirt of lemon juice. One iota of lactic acid. Low bitterness. More of that mulled wine on the back half joining what roastiness is present for the drying, lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high carbonation. There's some softness to the mouthfeel, though it is not quite creamy.

Overall: The best of the saisons are supremely quenching and refreshing. This one is not, though I'm sure that was never Terrapin's aim. Thankfully though, the malts are not overburdening, the booze isn't overly noticeable, and the body is light enough to at least keep it from being unrefreshing. So, overall, not too bad.

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Photo of Bung
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. Dark black pour, large and lasting off white head. Just barely stuck to the glass.

Aroma, yeast and pumpernickel bread. Some earth, very faint fruitcake, pepper.

Taste, toasted malt, yeasty clove and light red fruit, bannana up front. Roast, anise, pepper stings the finish. Faintest hops.

Lively carbonation keeps this going down easy. I just wish there was a little less clove.

Quite interesting but not quite as nice as the Stillwater dark Saisons I've tried. Nicer price than those however.

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Photo of Janderson91
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another Terrapin side project! Very excited.

A - Pours a nearly opaque black with a two finger tan head. Leaves very little lacing.

S - Smell is similar to a normal saison. Spicy and fruity. But a coffee smell is in the nose as well and I'm not sure it works.

T - Taste follows the nose. Fruity and spicy as you would expect from a saison but there is just a slight coffee/chocolate tinge to the taste throughout. Very unique.

M/D - Mouthfeel is a little more full than a normal saison. Drinkability is slightly lower because of the thicker mouthfeel.

An interesting and very unique brew from my favorite brewery. I can't say that I would seek it out again but I enjoyed it.

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Photo of lazjuarez
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Note: Taken from notes at a previous tasting.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black in color with a half finger of khaki colored head. Quickly dissipates to a fine ring without leaving much lace behind.

S: Nose has notes of cherries, roasted malts, and some black coffee.

T: Taste starts like a saison, but finishes with stout characteristics. First, some cherries, a bit earthy, then some small roasted malts, hints of bitter coffee.

M: Very lightly carbonated, almost none existent. Medium-bodied, silky mouthfeel.

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Terrapin TomFoolery from Terrapin Beer Company
3.47 out of 5 based on 140 ratings.
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