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 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 CharlieMurphy
3.32/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bomber split 2 ways

A: Pours 1"-3" very light colored tan head, lighter colored than I was expecting. Some lacing staggers behind, but keeps on the move. Looks like a pint of guinness. Way darker than I was expecting, very opaque.

S: mild overall, hard to discern anything aside from classic saison aroma. Faintly sweet.

T: tingly, crisp, slightly sweet. If I was blindfolded I probably wouldn't guess that this would be black, the dark malts don't make many waves. I suppose the dark malts do add some body not seen in many saisons, I guess there's some ?roastiness? in the shadows.

M: This would be where you could detect the dark side- considerably drying from the onset. Carbonation is mild, true to style.

O: Glad to try, wouldn't fuss to taste again. However, I did appreciate the fuller mouthfeel in this though, but I'm biased toward dark beer.

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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 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 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 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 uturn
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz capped and gold foiled bottle poured into a Lamoral degmont glass.

A: The beer poured a dark brownish black with a large 3 finger tan head, which left a nice lacing on my glass.

N: The nose was a mix of what you would expect from most saisons, spicy and fruity notes, plus what is not normally found in a saison, roasted and toasted malts.

T: The taste started off with the roasted malt flavors and was followed with mild funkiness, citrus fruits and mild pepper which ended on the dry side. The entire flavor profile was on the light and mild side.

M: It had a nice medium body with a crisp/pleasant carbonation level.

D&O: The drinkability was easy going, but much less refreshing as I would expect in a saison.

Overall I felt that this was an interesting twist on the saison style, but IMHO I would much rather have the roasted malt flavors left out of my saison, as it made it less refreshing than I would like in this style.

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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 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 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 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 drabmuh
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is dark brown and hazy with a nice tan head with some head and nice lacing.

Aroma is floral and sweet with a great yeast note.

Beer is medium in body and sweet up front with a yeasty ester and a floral bittering. The beer is pretty decent and I enjoyed ti. I may even have it again but it is sort of like a saison with food coloring added. Why is it black? No roast or smoke in there.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Unfiltered chocolate brown with a huge light brown dense foamy head. Lots of lacing left by the head and no visible carbonation.

S - Definitely has the farmhouse funk right at the beginning of the aroma with a slight metallic smell in the background. Smells very dry and tart. There is a little sour orange in the aroma and a nice amount of yeast funkiness.

T - I was hoping the flavor would be a little drier and robust after the aroma but it falls a little short to me. The tinny/metallic taste is still there in the background and a lot of the tartness is lost somewhere. There is some yeast funk but the aroma suggests more, but the sharp sour fruit flavor remains. Overall not a bad flavor but the dark malts might have been overused a little.

M - Nice medium body with good carbonation but the texture is a little too creamy for the style; again I might contribute this to the malts being used to make it a "dark" saison. The aftertaste is sort of toasted and not very dry like one would expect.

O - I like the idea of the style but I believe it is very difficult to marry a malty dark beer with a sour saison and still maintain the characteristics of sour beers that so many people want.

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Photo of Interfectus
3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I actually really enjoyed this side project! I think the Saison flavoring gives this dark, rich ale a burnt, earthy, grainy flavor. The body was a bit shallow, which surprised my since the color was fairly dark. I think this might be better served a bit warm to bring out the Saison flavor. I was actually a bit surprised at the negative reaction to this beers, because I thought it was one of the better ones that I've had in a while! To each his own I suppose!

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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 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 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 katan
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz into a goblet

A - Pours a brown/black color with a mocha colored head. Breaks down to a film right away. Just a little bit of color through ti.

S - An odd combination of malts and some dark fruits, seemingly like grapes. Some of it seems grainy and roasted. A light amount of esters sneak through.

T - Starts off with a light malty sweetness, more of those dark fruits like currants. Mid-stream starts to bring in the white pepper and all the smooth and sweeter spices, especially clove. Finishes with a nice smooth sweetness.

M - Moderate to strong body - carbonation is moderate but pales to the body. Finishes very clean.

O/D - Moderately drinkable. ABV is moderate but workable. Flavors are fairly abuse to the palette. Smooth and easy drinking.

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Photo of tempest
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber for $8.25 from Abe's Cold Beer. Yeah, this is a bit of a disappointment. There's a hint of mild farmhouse spice in the aroma and flavor, but overall the character is surprisingly bland. Hops provide a light, earthy lemon, but where is the malt? I get a little cocoa, but the grains seem lost. I'm not sure what went wrong here (I usually love Terrapin beers!). There are some fine elements, and it improves at cellar temp, but the balance seems to be off and overall the flavor is dull. Ah well.

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Photo of farrago
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a large three finger plus head of whipped up brown foam, while airy and loose has decent retention, evaporates evenly if without much lacing. The liquid is indeed black as advertised, turns to a dark brown at the glass bottom with a thin stripe of orange. Malty nose doesn’t evoke saison much, milk chocolate, caramel, coconut, Brazil nuts, cloves, cola, sweetly smoky, quiet insertion of orange zest, vague pie crust dough, hard to figure the hops, there is a stiffening feel in the nostrils before the scents all gone but no clear presence. Medium-bodied, however, sluggish enough to slow to crawl after it first touches the tongue. More roast here via coffee bean, darker chocolate and hint of chicory, the carbonation is tight and helps as it can. Sweeter caramel, clove, nuts and orange pulp fill the center but it is drier here than in the nose. Fig, date to apricot, pear, cherry fruit a minor presence. Peppery at times, some dried straw or grass, again few distinct footprints of hops but generally stronger presence through the finish. There’s a fair amount of going on here but it lacks a guiding principle to forge a choral voice.

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Photo of n2185
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very dark brown with two fingers of beige head that recedes into a nice cap but leaves little lacing.

S: Interesting mix of aromas here. Spices, cloves, and bubblegum up front followed by a slightly funky barnyard aroma. There are some bitter aromas in there too, as well as some sweet chocolatey aromas coming through from the roasted malts.

T: Spice and clove notes at first followed by a somewhat musty and funky flavor with slight tart notes. The roasted malts come through towards the finish with a lightly bitter chocolate flavor that goes along with the bready yeast flavors.

M: Medium-light body with medium carbonation, this beer is fairly light-bodied despite its color, and crisp as well. I'd like the body to be just a little bit thicker.

O: Overall, an interesting beer. The aroma is quite nice and unique, though the flavors don't blend too well together. Still, an interesting concept and not a bad beer at all.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

- Labeled as a black saision, project vol. 14.

A: A dark cola exit from the bottle becomes a dense black in the chalice. Erupting with possible aid from a wild Belgian yeast was a aggressive head, a rigid foam structure dark khaki in color, that stood a prominent 3 fingers high. The head remains constant for a good time all the while shellacking the glass with a generous offering of film coating. Labeled as a black saison, im guessing this has to qualify for decent results as it’s the first im experiencing such a twist on this style.

S: Soft musky tones fill the nostrils, aided in part by a soft touch of Schwarz like dark malts, just enough to let you be aware of its presence. In turn it adds a newt twist and touch to a style but in return may take a bit away from the wild belgain yeasty quality that also defines the style. Moist wheat bread, stale graininess but again missed the defining sour fruitiness that I come to expect and enjoy.

T: The flavor brought out more of the sour and spicy fruitiness then the nose led on. Spicy flavor with a soft fruitiness of pineapple and apricots brings a surprising zesty tingle to the taste buds. Soft Schwarz like roastiness settles back here and lets some of the sour fruitiness come out to play, albeit maybe with a little restraint. Spicy fruity and citrus comes alive on the swallow with a soft muskiness but was overall fairly sharp and well defined.

M: Tight bubbly carbonation carbonation brings a lively tingle that sticks around. Malty body with soft roasted tones that warm the inner cheeks.

D: Not a summer time quencher sasion like a bullfrog peche saison, but rather is more at home as a early spring drink or cool weather offering. In general the overall marriage comes as good as can be expected, giving in some areas, but surpressing in others, but overall comes out unique with enough quality that is worthy of a try.

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