Terrapin Golden Ale | Terrapin Beer Company

208 Reviews
Read the review
Terrapin Golden AleTerrapin Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: Cream Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Terrapin Cream Ale.

Added by aracauna on 05-10-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 208 | Ratings: 436
Photo of kylehay2004
3.61/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed while at the brewery in Athens, ga. Single finger frothy head on a clear and Golden body. Wheat and bread aroma mostly. High carbonation and medium body, refreshing. Touch of noble like hops greater than expected for a cream ale. Very drinkable but more on the pilsner side than cream ale side which is fine with me as cream ales are not my favorite genre.

 364 characters

Photo of Knapp85
1.67/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Had this with two friends and we all agreed that this beer was a little odd. It was the first beer i ever had from Terrapin and I was nervous to try more for fear that it may end up being like this for all their beers. The label said Golden Ale so I was expecting something like a Belgian style and when I found out this was a Cream Ale it was clear as to why it was different than I expected. Even after knowing what it was supposed to be I wasn't overly impressed.

 466 characters

Photo of metter98
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Barcade, Jersey City, NJ

A: The beer is clear straw yellow in color and has a very slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a large patch of white bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of lemon, corn and grainy malts in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of green apples along with hints of corn and other adjunct malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth and creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes similar to an American Blonde Ale but has a creamier mouthfeel.

 596 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.42/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

After trying on tap, the brew was quite lackluster. From the bottle, it seems that many of the delicate flavors and aroma come through better, not having to compete with the tap carbonation. The bottle shows more fruity, estery, and apple flavors without comming across grainy or too watery. The beer does remain light and refreshing with a mild hop balance (English) and a little tart. Still lacking the smoothness and medium texture of a Cream Ale.

Thanks Ding.
August 12, 2009: Thanks jyounger30!

 501 characters

Photo of brentk56
2.87/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a reasonable head that shows good retention and some lacing

Smell: Vegetal corn aroma dominates and not in a good way

Taste: Starts out with a rather neutral, bready flavor; after the swallow, a harshness kicks in that doesn't blend very well; in addition, the corn character starts to appear

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, rather creamy; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I guess this is designed to be a crossover beer; I'm not a big fan of the style and there is nothing in this brew that I find compelling

 560 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Unclemattie: Poured a golden color ale with a big foamy head with good retention and medium lacing. Aroma of sweet malt is dominant and somewhat enjoyable. Taste is a mix between sweet malt with some grassy notes. Overall, I thought this was well done but not very complex – a good session brew.

 315 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Light copper color, excellent clarity and a very small, frothy white head.

S - Grainy, a bit sweet, and maby some apple.

T - Grainy/ malty, with a fair amount of grassy/ earthy hops. Very dry, light finish.

M - Light body and high carbonation. A bit of hop astringency.

D - Overall a pretty drinkable session beer. More or less right on for a cream ale (although I am not sure if that is a compliment). Terrapin can, and usually does, do better.

 453 characters

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

Terrapin golden ale pours a straw-gold body with yellow highlights beneath a short head of bright white that fades fairly shortly but leaves behind some thick spots and streaks of lace.

The aroma is malty with a very subtle sweetness and a hints of grain, as well as the occasional waft of juicy-apple-like fruitiness.

The flavor is fuller, although it follows along the same line. It's mostly focused on the straightforward, gently sweetish grain aspect, and then livened by the yeasty fruitiness and some background spicy and floral hops. A moderate bitterness is present, and it's balanced, but the focus is that sweet dollop of malt up-front.

Overall it's a pretty damned drinkable beer. I've had beers like this before, and after one or two they start to become a little stickier in the mouth than I like, but I think there may be just enough balance here to keep it going. Nice.

 887 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from mikesgroove courtesy of the I Want That IV BIF, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of light malts, grain, some spice and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is light but bready with mild flavors of caramel, spice and grain. There's a decent hops presence that provides a little balance. The malt character is thin but on-target for the style. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, mild kick, good representation of style, it's light which makes it a beer that you could pound down several of, but overall I found it to just an ordinary beer.

 898 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Barcade in Jersey City, NJ

A: Pours a clear straw yellow in color with very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a quarter finger tall bright white head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light amounts of lemon/citrus along with some adjunct malts (corn and grain) and a light amount of light fruit (apple) sweetness.

T: Light flavors of cracker and adjunct malts (primarily grain) with some light amounts of sweetness. There are very light notes of lemon/citrus and green apple.

M: Slightly heavier than light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

O: Very easy to drink and definitely sessionable - the best aspect of this beer is the mouthfeel.

 807 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. single for $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a straw-colored, yellow body with half an inch of fizzy, white head on top.

Smell: A subdued aroma of lemon and spice set against equally mild maltiness with a small note of wheat crackers.

Taste: Light pale maltiness with tiny touches of toast and tangy wheat. Slight sweetness. A bit of creamed corn. Spicy hops, with a very slight lemongrass character, and a restrained overall bitterness. Finishes quite crisp with that faint toasty and wheat tastes lingering on.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high, slightly prickly carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent, easily drinkable beer if ultimately unremarkable.

 700 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.8/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich golden amber with sunshine yellow borders. The lemon-tinted ivory head is three fingers to start and has barely budged in the several minutes since the pour. It's a good color match for the beer beneath (I always talk about that as if it's controllable by the brewer) and looks pretty good as it deflates. Because of the assumed hop deficiency, not much lace sticks. Scattered watery shreds is about it.

The nose fails to impress. Cream ales are at something of a disadvantage when it comes to focus and Terrapin Cream is no exception. They aren't especially malty or hoppy or spicy or anything else that might provide an olfactory or a flavor hook. My favorite version of the style (Anderson Valley's Summer Solstice) was spicy if I remember correctly. This one smells... uh... blonde malty.

The flavor profile is as expected. Actually, as cream ales go, it's pretty tasty. Five different malts are in use, with untoasted pale barley and corn (flaked maize) clearing running the show. The thing that puts it ahead of the pack for me is that it's sweet enough without being cloyinging so. I always want a little vanilla flavor in my cream ales and very rarely get it. No vanilla here.

The hop bill is a good one (Cascade, Mt. Hood, Santiam), or would be if I could appreciate it. I might be able to pick up a hint of citrus way down deep if I concentrate, but this clearly isn't a hop-centric beer. The finish is notable in that a fair amount of bitterness creeps in to compete with the sweetness. This is a relatively complex version of a relatively simple style, which is the main reason why I've given it the taste score that I have.

Not much to report on the body/mouthfeel front. Cream ales should be at least medium of body in my mind and this one just barely reaches that goal. I'm glad that it isn't overly bubblicious and can imagine that it would make a fine session beer if one has a decent tolerance for sweetness. One bottle isn't too much, but several might be pushing it once all that sugar begins to add up.

I knew that this beer wouldn't come close to ascending the heights that my previous Terrapin Beer Company beers have achieved (TBC's hop fetish dovetails perfectly with my own). It only makes sense that a brewery would need to include a more approachable beer in their lineup in order to appeal to all comers. I'd like Terrapin Cream Ale to come out of its shell a little more, but given the style, it's a pretty good effort. Thanks to timtheenchanta for the toss-in.

 2,511 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.76/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

BBD of 3/23/08, Cheers to Ding for this one!

Pours an effervescent straw/golden with 3 fingers of eggshell white head. There's a slight sheen or haze to this, almost viscous. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Grassy & lemony notes, plus some bready notes. A bit of honey once warm

T: Grassy & grainy notes up front, plus some lemony hops. Bready & grainy flavors as this warms. Finishes a little dry, somewhat grainy, with floral hops

MF: Light/medium bodied with fairly vigirous carbonation. Balances pretty well, nice hop presence

Drinks very easy, not the best cream ale, but I could see sucking a few down on a steamy summer evening in the South

 656 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A cream ale?!?!? Well as the name implies this was an excellent golden ale. Poured a clear golden pale yellow without a head or significant lacing. There was some very nice visible carbonation though. Smell was light, crisp and clean. Graing and bread like with a small floral aroma mixed in, but very strong. The flavors was fantastic for outdoors on a hot day. Light, crisp, and refreshing. This one will really cool you off. Extremly drinkable, could put these down all night. Overall very nice light, summer brew, that I could enjoy anytime.

 545 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.15/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appears a pale straw golden clear offering with a bright white head forming above the body, lacing is scarce and uneven as it dwindles. Aromatics tart creamed corned accent with a touch of green apple and sturdy malt bill flowing wth finesse. Flavor has a cereal mix of creamy corn and sweet two row pale malts, a barely noticeable herbal hop mix equates to a mediocre form of the brew known as Terrapin. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied where as the rest of their brews are rather heavy hitters, I'd much rather have this than a BMC brew but that doesn't say much, nice opening brew. Drinkability is nice a refreshing mix of malts hops and adjuncts as a cream ale this brew serves it's purpose, with some hop burps between sips.

 732 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a foggy yellow gold. Nice creme head. This beer seems a bit sweet to me. Not sweet like a fruit beer, but sweet and grainy slightly. Quite malty. Caramel tones are there too. Feel is a bit thicker on liquid. Might be a bit too sweet for some, but it is good enough for me.

 278 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.51/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oddly, I don't see the word "Extreme" anywhere on this bottle or it's label, but, on the other hand, I do enjoy the image of the rafting turtle, so we'll call it even.

Clear, bright yellow hue, nicely fluffy, ample head...lookin' good...

Aroma: largely empty, but innocuous, creamy to nullsville...

Taste: light, bright, sunny, easily quaffable...tiny tones of citrus fruit, and miniscule drizzles of honey...likeable, but not lovable, drinkable, but not thinkable...

Acually, this is an incredibly well-brewed crossover/commercial brew, if the folks of Georgia could eschew the macros in favor of this.

A very good cream ale, does what it ought to and does it well.

 682 characters

Photo of Tone
3.54/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, gold color. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of wheat, hops, slight sweet malt, slight pale malt, hint of cream, and hint of pine. Fits the style of a Cream Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale malt, slight sweet malt, hint of metallic, hint of hops, and a hint of caramel malt. Overall, better aroma than body or blend.

 423 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to ThorsHammer for this brew.

Best By: 09/12/07

Pours a clear pale yellow color, nice carbonation, little fizzy white head, some sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slightly hoppy, some spices, and slight caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, good balance of malts/hops, spicy, and some caramel. The finish is slightly bitter. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, not too bad of a brew.

 403 characters

Photo of tempest
3.48/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Keith for sharing. I often say beers have bready flavor, but this tasted like straight-up fresh sourdough and white bread. It drank smooth with just a light malt tang. Some golden beers are blandly drinkable, but this beer provides both lighty toasted malt flavors in addition to being highly sessionable. Worth a try in you like golden ales and cream ales.

 367 characters

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a crisp pale and Vienna malt scent. It's a bit sweet with a light hop aroma. The taste is good as well. It has a smooth mildly bitter taste that boasts of pale malts mostly. It goes down easy and finishes crisp and clean. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. I liked this beer despite other not so good reviews. It's balanced and flavorful; an easy drinker.

 523 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.37/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a clean pint glass at a cold cellar temperature.

a. Clear with some very light flaky sediment. Nice soapy head that fades gradually. Lacing around the first sip only, that was most of the head.

s. Doughy yeast. Adjuncts are there for sure but not unpleasantly so. Hops are there in the aroma.

t. Sweet with some cooked corn as well. There are some light citric hops which certainly are well attenuated, no lingering bitterness.

m. Light bodied. Pretty well carbonated. Finishes dry and chalky.

D. Pretty standard fare here. A decent "light" beer in my opinion. For a cream ale, this doesn't stick apart from a Gennessee.

 637 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.03/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light golden with a decent initial head that fades to a ring.The beer shows a constant stream of bubbles throughout the sample. The smell is light and very grainy and slightly sour-like a boil of spent grain. Reminds me of Anchor's Small Beer. The taste is a little better, light but with some solid flavor. The spent grain taste is still there, but there is also some malt underpinning the flavor and a smidgen of hops. Mouthfeel is refreshing if a not quite as crisp or creamy as it could be. I remember this beer being better a few years ago, but then again I used to drink it on tap. I generally really like Terrapin beers- this is my least favorite.

 662 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.5/5  rDev +2%

Poured from 12oz bottle into my Val-Dieu goblet. Bottle says best by November 2014.

Appearance: light golden hue with a touch of haze and a pretty strong effervescence. Head is a thin layer of frothy white foam. Not bad.

Smell: rather sweet right up front, with a light malty character and just a hint of a corn aroma. Basically no hops are present. Decent for a cream ale, if a bit sweet.

Taste: much like the aroma at first; sweet with a hint of corniness. As the flavor rounds out, the corn gets a little more conspicuous, but a light noble hop character also appears. There's a little bit of bitterness, appropriate to the style.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a decent carbonation. Not bad.

Overall: it's a pretty standard cream ale, if a bit sweet and a little heavy-handed on the corn flavor. Still, pretty drinkable.

 845 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.42/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost brilliantly clear, bright gold color. It is topped by a quickly disappearing pale white head. The aroma has notes of sweet corn, a subtle herbal hop profile, and perhaps a touch of toasty malt in the finish. The taste has a definite sweet corn note to it as well. The beer is quite light on the palate and the finish has a nice level of astringent bitterness to it that serves as an offset to the sweet corn note. There is actually a fair amount of bitterness to this beer, and it really does help to keep the sweet grain character in check. This is a nice example of the style, and I could see myself drinking a couple of these on a hot, sweaty Summer day.

 673 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Terrapin Golden Ale from Terrapin Beer Company
3.43 out of 5 based on 436 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.