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Terrapin TomFoolery | Terrapin Beer Company

92 Reviews
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Terrapin TomFooleryTerrapin TomFoolery

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States | website

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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 92 | Ratings: 140
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 Pencible
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a nearly opaque black with some tan head.
S: It smelled like wild yeast and lemon zest and grassy hops, with some coffee and biscuit.
T: It tasted like bitter coffee and sour wild yeast and peppery hops, with a little lemon zest and grass and breadiness. It had a moderate bitter and sour aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with moderate carbonation. Decent for a saison.
D: This was an interesting fusion of styles. I'm not sure if the result was truly enjoyable, but it was fun to try. The alcohol was well hidden, so it wasn't difficult to drink. It's just that the dark and bitter character of the coffee didn't work very well with the light an zesty character of the saison.

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Photo of JayQue
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Terrapin and Dogfishhead are innovative breweries that like to experiment. TomFoolery is an unusual mixture of an American Black Ale and a Saison. It seems to work pretty good as far as an easy drinking beer goes.

This one pours a dense black color with very little light showing through. The head is bubbly and big..light tan in color with decent retention. Lacing is spotty and thick. Overall a good looking beer.

The aroma is fairly mild but both major elements are there: roasted malts and funky, lemony, yeasty Saison qualities.

The roasted malts are the big flavor here but the Saison-like elements are present as well. There is a definite funky/Belgian yeast presence here, just not as strong as the malts.

Mouthfeel is rich and still somewhat crisp. Just right for this type of beer.

Overall this is a successful experiment, a very pleasant and tasty beer. Not quite a Saison, but still a good experience.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Bobby.

A: The pour is a very dark brown color with a finger or two of tan head.

S: Definitely heavy on the roasted malt with a strong peppery quality. There's a bit of chocolate and a strong banana note. Some mild toffee, and a rather mild nose overall.

T: Very, very roast heavy. A touch of char, but a decent enough sweetness to it, mostly in the form of toffee, but there is some good banana sweetness and a slight creaminess. A pronounced pepper flavor which gives the beer a slight bite.

M: Medium in body with a creamy and smooth carbonation.

O: A nice try at the new fad of black saisons, but not terribly noteworthy.

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

Poured a dark black opaque color from the bottle with a light tan head of about one finger. Smell is very intriguing with a an enticing mix of yeastiness, spiciness and roasted malts. Spicy taste initially with a strong roasted malt backbone. Feel is very dry and has a medium body with ample carbonation. Overall a very interesting beer that I think satisfies as a Saison but brings the interesting roasted malt flavors. Definitely one I would recommend if for no other reason than to satisfy curiosity.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pillowy off white head with tiny bubbles. Sits there for quite a while. Black as night with no light getting through. A dull dark color. No lacing.

Aroma is of Belgian yeast, some light spice. As it warms some fruit is present.

Interesting, I wish I had tried this without ever seeing the color. No matter how hard I try, I have to think the very dark color is shading my perception of this beer. Some candied sugar and some brown sugar flavors here. The influence of the yeast is quite apparent. There is a sense of black pepper here and a slight burnt crusty bread flavor at the end. The flavors are all melded together in a soft manner that I will comment on in the mouth feel. I think the issue here is that it really have no characteristics of a saison. Seems more like a Belgian Pale (ha ha) or a lightly hopped tripel. There isn’t nearly as much dark roasted malt flavor as I would have guessed.

The mouth feel is very soft and delicate. Which is not to say that the body is thin. It’s not. But it just feels very light in your mouth. The mouth feel reminds me of Brooklyn Black Ops which is made with champagne yeast.

Interesting beer. Have no idea what a Black Saison is, but I give the folks at Terrapin credit for trying to create one. My feeling is this will be a one and done, but I am very happy that I tried it.

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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 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 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 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 vtfan77
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black saison? Now that's just silly.

A- Well, it's black all right... or at least very dark brown. Not much light is getting through here. It pours with a very nice beige head of about an inch and a half that dissipates to a persistent ring of lace over the course of a couple of minutes.

S- I have a habit of smelling the beer still in the bottle as soon as I pop the cap. This initial whiff yielded a big dose of roasted malt. This smell gave way to a host of fruity, yeasty aromas upon pouring, chief among which were ripe strawberries and green bananas. It was slightly tart and very pleasant, but I was left wanting more.

T- Starts out lightly tart with chalky yeast and cereal grains. This flavor segues into an earthy, coffee-like taste and an odd bitterness that seems a little out of place. The finish is bone dry with coffee and a hint of mushrooms and a lingering bitterness.

M- Medium-bodied and highly carbonated; appropriate for the style.

This is a decent beer but I really just wanted more of everything. More flavor, more aroma, more complexity. I felt like it was pretty one-dimensional and nothing in particular stood out about it. That said, it was pretty drinkable and I certainly wouldn't turn it down. I just wouldn't seek it out. Worth a try, though.

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

I poured from a bomber into a snifter. The pour is jet black, very big, fizzy white head, light lacing. The aroma is mostly spicy, hints of lemon. The beer is very spicy, hints of lemon zest. The finish is very dry. The body is light, very effervescent. IMO this one is a bit subpar, the flavors are just missing something.

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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 Vonerichs
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It very much resembles a porter. Dark brown color but thinner in texture. It has a very generous sand colored head.

The smell is banana, phenolic funk and roasted malt. It's muted and hard to pick up.

The taste is almost all that band-aid phenolic flavor, and it stays through the aftertaste. The malt doesn't show up much in the flavor, nor does it have a funky tartness that some saisons tend to have.

Mouthfeel has good body and decent carbonation.

This beer just isn't true to style and it doesn't work well for a dark saison, either. The dark malt isn't very prevalent, so it doesn't add that extra dimension that I'm guessing they intended to. On the other hand, absent of the malt, it doesn't work well for a regular saison either.

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Photo of chaz410
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle received as a gift!
Pours deep dark reddish brown body with a tan head.
The smell is dry, belgian rounded sweetness and some subtle continental hops.
Taste balanced and spicey. Some light caramel and pilsner malt flavor with a dry hoppy finish. There's very little dark malt character which is great in my opinion.
Very balanced mouthfeel and clean.

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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 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 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 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 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 claspada
3.39/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aromas of yeastiness, specifically bubblegum and light clove with some mildly roasted malts with slightly spicy notes in the background.

The taste is initially malty breadiness with some sweeter brown sugar notes. Spicy yeast comes out in the middle, notes of clove as well as light bubblegum. The beer finishes with moderately dry, toasty malt and some smoky molasses flavors; yeast flavors are always reminding you of their presence as well. Light bitterness balances and there may even be some spicy hop flavors in there somewhere, but the molasses flavors are too dominant.

Mouthfeel is medium to thick bodied with moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

Overall this beer is not bad, though I can't say I am in love with the yeast character. The beer isn't that flavorful also for how high the ABV is. Worth a try because it's interesting and won't break the bank, but nothing you NEED to hunt down or try.

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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 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 Tilley4
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A black Saison? Really?

Pours jet black as the name implies... Lots of creamy head atop as well... Looks the part of a porter...

Typical Saison aromas of wheat and lemon and yeast although the rye kicks this one up a notch or two and has me interested...

Standard fare for the style... Lemony wheat with a big dose of yeast.. The rye doesn't show up quite as much as I'd like but its still a solid brew...

No problem finishing the bottle... A good shot at the style actually... Not elite but pretty darn good..

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Photo of kirkpjr
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one into a tulip.

A: Pours a very small half finger head that dissipates quickly. Color is deep brown to light black with some light barely creeping through. Spotted lacing.

S: Lemon zest, Belgian yeasts, and bubblegum. Wheat and earthy smells as well. Nothing notable beyond regular Saisons.

T: Strong fruity esters and bananas up front. Here the the dark characters of this beer come out. Finish is toasted malts with the familiar drying characteristics of a Saison. Interesting blend of flavor with the esters and roast playing together.

M: Bright carbonation and medium feel. Dry and crisp finish.

D: Interesting idea and glad I got to try this one. Carbonation limits the drinkability a bit on this one.

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Terrapin TomFoolery from Terrapin Beer Company
80 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.
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