Terrapin TomFoolery | Terrapin Beer Company

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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 Georgiabeer
1.71/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

In a word- yuck! I really disliked this beer. I've had other black saisons, and although I've enjoyed a few of them, I generally think it's the wrong direction to take a saison. This one in particular has far too much dark malt to pull off the balancing act between saison crispness and spiciness, and the dark brooding flavors of the malt. There is a huge bubblegum component here as well, particularly in the aroma, and while not out of place for the style necessarily, here it seems exagerated almost to the point of parody. far more egregious to me, however, is the fact that this beer has a pronounced bandaid flavor to it. This is often the result of infection. Now, there are a few funky beerss that sucessfully utilize a hint of these flavors from the wood that they age in, but not only do those beers ride a razor thin edge of acceptability when exhibiting those flavors, but even then I can't help but feel that they would better without that particular dimension of taste. In this case, there is no edge being ridden. There is simply too much bandaid. Now, it could be an infection, If so, so be it. I could understand, and excuse that if it were an older beer. But a brand new Side Project, freshly bottled and bought that exhibits those qualities is simply the fault of the brewery. I've come to expect better and to hold the brewer accountable for the lack of quality control. Either way, I didn't enjoy this beer (although I usually do enjoy Terrapin's offerings). Oh well, here's hoping 15 is better.

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Photo of Darkale
1.79/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

There are some boundaries that should not be crossed, even though it seems relatively easy to cross them. Making a black saison is one of those boundaries. Apparently, this beer was quite the fast seller at my local beer shop, and I cannot account for its popularity. I found its taste to be sharp, sour, and sweaty-burnt... this is an acrid, unbalanced, and unnecessary beer. When I think of the saison this might have been, before those malts were added... sigh.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
1.83/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - The brew is an opaque brown-black, and is capped with a grayish wisp of a head

S - The nose has a vegetal and grassy hop, unpleasant, as well as some hint of under-attenuated sweetness to the malt.

T - The taste is sweaty, vegetal, grassy and just flat-out-not-good. Drain pouring at a bar is unpleasant, but necessary in a situation such as this.

M - The feel is flaccid. I don't know what is going on here, but this is bad all-around.

O - Terrapin is really putting out some inexplicably bad beers. In light of the ratio, perhaps it would be more fair to say that beers such as Wake-n-Bake are inexplicably good.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.06/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bomber poured into a Duvel tulip. A modest creamy head tops the black body. A bit of lacing here and there.

From the first sniff, I'm guessing this beer will have the same issue that many mediocre CDAs have: too little black malt, too much chocolate obscuring the defining qualities of the style. And indeed I would have never have guessed saison in a blind test. Belgo stout, maybe. In fairness, the chocolate notes aren't terribly strong; the issue is that the expected saison flavors are pretty weak. Mild notes of banana, clove, spice and yeast. An odd metallic aftertaste. Limp and lifeless.

Overall impression: I'll resist the obvious "tomfoolery" joke, but this is a rather unfocused beer that I'd not recommend.

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Photo of Avagadro
2.45/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Tomfoolery is near black, and has little in the way of a head.

S: An unpleasant combination of chocolate and coffee are mixed with fruity/spicy esters.

T: More coffee, fruit, and spice. Who thought this would be a good idea?

M: Light body, high carbonation, no texture.

D: This might not be so bad if the roasty flavors weren't so prominent. I'm all for trying new things, but this just isn't appetizing.

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Photo of onewetpaw
2.49/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- Roast notes and minimal malt.

A- Black and nicely clear. The head is full and light biege.

F- Roasty, roasty and roasty. Not really any fruit or spicy yeast notes commonly associated with saison yeasts. Harsh and astrigent. If I made this I would think about oversparging or a too alkaline mash allowing too many tannins into the brew.

M- High carbonation, which fits well with a saison. The body is rather full and there's still too much sweetness and body to really fit well.

O- Not a fan. The harshness of the roast malts clash with the yeast character and make this hard to drink. Tastes like a harsh and astringent attempt to make a stout. Saison is a very broad category, and it's hard to fault a beer for being "out of style." This beer does seem to fit that moniker though. It's too sweet and the yeast character is mild and subdued. If you told me this was fermented with an English yeast at a warmish temp and you were trying to make a stout I wouldn't be surprised.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.52/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees and noticed the disturbing fact the beer had no head to speak of. What it did have was gone real fast. The beer was black as night and the tiny head was chocolate colored. The had a burnt smell and the taste was slightly sour. I will not buy again.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.54/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip on 8/21/11

Thanks to PDXHops

Pours a muddy brown color. Very dark in the glass with faint traces of ruby and grape juice highlights. Big old three finger head rises in a fluffy fashion (similar to nitro) but becomes porous and drops to just shy of one finger. Thin retention; not much lace.

There are some interesting things going on in the aroma. The bottle mentions rye and wheat; a silly amount of each, to be exact. I'll certainly agree about the rye, in all of its abundant dry and spicy glory. Wheat seems less apparent, aside from a toasted graininess as the beer opens up. The spiciness doesn't end with the rye; herbal notions abound. Grass, prairie, pollen and floral notes, too. Maybe a dash of clove. For a few minutes after the head thinned an unpleasant alcohol note was detectable but it has since vanished. I don't know what the black malts were meant to accomplish but there isn't much in the way of roastiness to be had. Smells pretty good, regardless.

Huh. This is a strange-flavored critter. The aforementioned black malts are appreciable right from the start and make an uncomfortable roasted cocoa base from which to launch sharper notes typically associated with saisons: grass, clove, spices and some grains. Along those lines, wheat is all but buried though the rye does hold its own. Fruity notions seem unsettled as well. On the whole, most of the flavor components have an artificial bent. Some yeast in the back.

Medium-thin body with effervescent carbonation upfront that tapers off toward the back. On the whole it makes for a bit of a weak attack. Finishes quickly, though there is a dirt-like ghost note that lingers briefly.

Overall, I can't say that Tomfoolery is a bad beer, as it were, but it's a ridiculous "take" on the style (I think calling it a misuse of the style is far more appropriate a term). Despite some unpleasant aspects, it's drinkable enough that I'll finish the bottle; well, at least most of it.

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Photo of mentor
2.59/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A bottle left over after GABF judging and given to me as a reward for my volunteer efforts. Pours a finger of brown head over a dark liquid with brown ruby edgings. Smells very mild. Wheat, chocolate, muted clove, wet paper, and mild spicy zip.

Tastes wet with clove, smoke, chocolate, and allspice. Mild anise mixes with an acidic edge. Strong carbonation helps pull some of the sweet from the tongue, but the beer is chewy nonetheless. Basically, a dark wheat...how is this beer a saison?

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Photo of corby112
2.63/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark chocolate brown color that appears pitch black in the glass with a 1.5 finger light beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Slightly smokey malt aroma with a strong anise/licorice presence along with dark roasted malts, peppery spice and earthy funk. Just a really odd combination for the style, resulting in a nose that fails for the style but is still somewhat interesting.

Medium bodied with a strong spice character up front that lingers over the sweet malty backbone and saison yeast into a slightly dry finish. Lots of peppery spices along with some anise/licorice flavor dominate the flavor but are countered mid-palate by a silky chocolate malt backbone. The malt profile is also very strong and along with the spices take away almost any trace of this beer tasting like a saison. This sounded like an interesting experiment in theory but in execution it falls flat.

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Photo of Gavage
2.82/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: pours a black color with a short wispy head that breaks apart quickly.

Smell: roasted tones and some citrus are light on the nose.

Taste: light roasted malt tone with burnt chocolate, tart grapefruit, lemon, a decent bitterness, and a definite earthy finish.

Mouthfeel: crisp throughout. Aftertaste is long lasting. medium bodied.

Overall: definite disappointment with this beer as the flavors were way too earthy and burnt for my liking.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
2.92/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle:

The beer pours cola black in color with a fluffy tan head that dissipated too quickly, but left a faint ring of the head, no lacing to note.

The beer gave off a lighter Belgian yeast aroma with a very light hint of spice. This is certainly not what I expected from a Saison style beer.

The taste of the beer, I thought, was more of a dry stout with a slight Belgian kick. The taste of the beer was good, but again, not what I expected.

The beer had a lighter feel to it and is smooth.

Overall this beer really just does not work for me. It needs more of a spice kick to it and it needs to have more of a heavier mouthfeel. After this Side Project, I am tiring of them, as they typically are solid B's, but I guess what I expected from the line were beers that were high quality representations of the style. I probably would not recommend this beer to those who like Belgian beers.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
2.93/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into a tulip

A deep chestnut brown body with a wispy khaki head that fell rather quickly. This resembled root beer upon pouring. No lacing whatsoever. The nose is somewhat straightforward. Chocolate, spicy rye, dark malt and a dose of cracked wheat. A light aroma of citrus hops to round it out. The flavor profile mimics the nose. Spicy rye, orange rind, chocolate, black malt and cracked wheat. The finish is dry and mildly bitter from a combo of the hops and dark malt. On the lighter side of medium bodied. Smooth feel, but thin.

I wasn't overly impressed with my first black saison. No funk. No intense flavors. Just a tame version with rye and black malt.

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Photo of Chaney
3.03/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pitch black color, with about a finger or so head that melted into a mere dark peppery brown ring around the brew within seconds. No light passing through whatsoever.

S: Strong smell of rye and maybe something else with kind of a burnt quality... tobacco perhaps? No fruit... just dark malt and maybe a tinge of wheat.

T: Same taste throughout from start to finish. Rye, rye, malt, wheat, and even more rye. This one would have benefited greatly from a bit more fruitiness.

M: Nothing light or refreshing about this brew... and therein lies the problem. The carbonation was OK, and there is malt to spare.... too much malt even. My mouth became very dry and my palate started to crave something fruity!

D: Definitely not. It seems like Terrapin releases a beer about every month... all ranging from marginal to outstanding. I'll put this one in the former category.

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Photo of mntlover
3.05/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a black with a small tan head that falls to a ring some sparse lace.

Aroma is some chocolate sprinkled on ripe fruits and spice. Not really saison smelling per say unless just being little fruity and spicy makes it so.

Taste is well more saison like fruits are tart with light funk maybe but definite spice bite. Finish is lingering roasted malt notes and lingering spice and tartness. Little strange not sure what a dark saison should be like but this is pretty non exciting.

Mouthfeel is medium with good level of carbonation.

Overall blah not impressed with this one, maybe Terrapin can't make a saison or maybe throwing dark malts in a good saison just makes it blahh who knows.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.11/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Had this one for a while (obviously) and tonight seemed right. Enjoyed from an oversized terrapin snifter.
a - brew pours a dark brown that settles in the glass as black with chestnut highlights to the light. A generous frothy foamy grey head hung out for a while with a creamy almost Belgian look.

s - nose is soft fruit leading with Apple and pear.

t - taste starts with the same apple and pear and then is tsunamied with a bready toasted oxidized tartness. Yeasty

m - feel is over carbed and fizzy

o - overall this probably should've been drank long ago. Not really that great now.

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Photo of billab914
3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Founders pint glass. It poured pretty close to black in color with a large, foamy head filling the top two inches of the glass.

The aroma has a crisp, fruit like flavor to it as well as a good dose of Belgian yeast spice. I get a pretty big banana flavor to it as well. Interesting aroma overall.

The taste starts off with some sweeter, malty and fruity flavors. It starts to really turn tart and crisp pretty quickly though. I get just a hint of some roasty, burnt flavors towards the finish. The tart, crisp flavors are pretty nice but even the slight roasty, bitter flavor seems odd in it.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side for the style but pretty average overall. carbonation is also pretty moderate for the style. Overall it was an interesting beer, but not great version of the style.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I wanted to give this one a try as soon as I had read about it. I enjoy most Black IPA's so the idea of a Black Saison was really intriguing to me. I got some on tap after work one night it's poured out as a rich looking black color not a whole lot of light got through it. The head was thin and tan. The aroma wasn't bad, it was lively like most Saison's but yet roasted and nutty like a stout. The flavors to me didn't jive all that well. It was quite a floral tasting brew upfront then it switched over to the roasted malts. Somewhere in between it got a little strange to me. I just wasn't digging it.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this into a tulip glass, and whoa! the foam easily goes over the lip. I get a full hand of foam from a conservative pour. Even on re-pours I get a bunch of foam.

I smell the sour of the saison from the top. It basically smells like a stock saison, but I don't get any of the "black" smell.

It tastes like a more sour saison with a decent amount of bitterness. I really don't taste what makes this a black beer. The bottle mentions a lot of malts, but I don't really taste any maltiness.

I was expecting something really different, but all I had was a slightly "off" saison.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

what a strange beer. i finally got around to trying this one, and really still nto sure what i tried,

the pour was black which threw me off from the start with a deep yeast note and hints of clove and chocolate coming though as it warmed, but it seemed that it was not mixed well and kind of all over the place for me. spicey with touches of rye and hints of vanilla and fruity esthers. finishes dry with a bit of a kick in the end.

overall still not sure about this one, thinking it was more of a miss.

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Photo of thain709
3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - This was about the only nice part of the beer...the body was black with some ruby highlights showing...a tan head formed but was not all that tall...it was light brown in color and settled into a wispy cap...some lacing was left behind

S - Earthy aromas coming out as a part of the Saison...some roasted notes as well...nothing spectacular and everything you would expect from a dark Saison

T - The earthy flavors take over the roasted aspect of the beer...there is a funk presence that's dry yet zesty...citrus tries to come through but this is where the roasted notes stand up...some light chocolate flavors come through...nothing really connects these flavors together

M - Medium bodied...the roast adds some body while the funk keeps it from being full...slight carbonation...a funky-roast finish

O - I'm not sure about the idea of a dark Saison but leave it to Terrapin to experiment with a Side Project...the look was the only good thing about this...there's something missing that connects the two parts of the beer

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Photo of KirkMcDerrick
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought a growler's worth at my local Beer emporium.Strong chocolate smell with a little bitterness when opened.

The beer pours a nice dark brown color with a chocolate -milk style head on it that settles nicely in the glass.The taste is overall strong and full with a bitter chocolate taste that leaves plenty of aftertaste but goes down very smooth.There is a slight alcohol taste but it mixes well with the sweet flavors in the beer and doesn't take away from the experience.Malty,earthy and sweet it's subtle variety of flavors come out after it has warmed up to room temp a bit.

Terrapin brews are hit or miss for me personally but I enjoyed this one.Also one of the first ventures I took in the Siason style of beer and seems to be a pretty good take on it if not a bit darker and sweeter than what I was expecting.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Very dark. Little, to no head. What head there is tan. Not much lace.

S - Rye and dark malts. Fairly faint aroma. I am not getting a lot here.

T - Roasted malts, and rye. Pretty good, not great.

M - Fairly smooth. Leaves a sharp aftertaste.

D - The beer doesn't really go anywhere for me. It needs a little more flavor, kick, spices, etc.

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Photo of aepb1
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Black body with a creamy tan head

S- Yeasty, spicy, herbal hops, some citrus notes in there too

T- Citrusy/floral hops from the start, some spices in the middle and finishes with a touch of bitterness I'd expect from a saison

M- Light/medium body, seems lacking

D- Not a bad beer, but if I were in the mood for a saison, I would turn to others first. If I wanted something on the lighter end I could see myself coming back to this (trippy that it's light since it's such a dark body)

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Photo of CampusCrew
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony, loaded head

smell: loaded belgian yeast smell, and sublte chocolate aromas

taste: very belgian yeast forward beer. dark malts brought some chocolate and it had a spicy tinge to it.

mouthfeel: medium bodied anf highly carbonated

drinkability: what's going on with Terrapin lately. Some of the last side projects have been a littl eoff. Not liek them

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