Terrapin Golden Ale | Terrapin Beer Company

208 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 208 | Ratings: 436
Photo of ByTor2112
3.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden straw color. Aroma was totally lager-ish. Smelled like a Dortmund. Nice head about one finger thick, then diminishes leaving a nice white film of foam. The taste was straight lager. A nice froth sweetens the brew but nothing very exciting. The bottle explains their ale/lager combo. I love that Terrapin is a successful brewery in the south and is offering up great brews. This beer is perfect to cool off after mowing but it is not that spectacular. Quaffable, but not my first choice. Cheers.

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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

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Photo of Westsidethreat
2.95/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Very light golden brown and lightly hazed. Head is not really there, much like the last Terrapin beers I had...bit off white and a very minor ring around the glass.

S: Little bit of sweet grains, day old grass and coins.

T: Light corn pop sweetness moves quickly to a straw flavor. Aftertaste is baked wheat.

M: Light-medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

D: Not bad. Not a lot going on.

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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.

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Photo of BurnsTau
3.53/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium tan color, small amount of head.

Nothing stands out as far as aromas, howver there is nothing is particulary offensive either.

Taste is somewhat strange to me, I must admit I have never had a cream ale before, and don't have much to judge on. It has a pretty good mouthfeel, not too light, or heavy, just about right. The carbonation is good as well. The maltiness is definitely apparent in this beer, with just a marginal amount of hops. If I was to describe this beer I would say, refreshing, which is strange with a name like cream ale. Overall it's not a terrible beer, it's just nothing great.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.98/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with hopdog. Thanks for the opportunity... Best if enjoyed before *blank*.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" white head over the clear light golden brew. Head holds on nicely, with plenty of slow fading lace. Aroma is pale malts, with lightly fruity hops crispness. Taste is similar, nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is very smooth, and drinkability is excellent, as expected for the style. Another nice one from Terrapin.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.1/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a nice solid dark straw color with a half finger of white head over top. A healthy cascade of bubbles is boiling up through the moslty clear liquid. Pretty well what I was expecting on all fronts. Aroma is dominated by corn character with a very mild and light grainyness. It's very clean, with just a kiss of herbal hop burried deep in there. Its pretty one dimensional, but as far as I understand, this style is not very aggressive. Flavor is right there with the aroma. Lots of corn flavor, with a small grainy note and a light but noticable herbal hop that really adds a nice dimension to this brew. A very mild and clean bitterness clings to the finish. Mouthfeel is on the light side of moderate with a solid moderate carbonation. It is very unobtrusive and without anything to keep me from finishing this bottle. I'm enjoying this one quite a bit. I think the hopping is really done well on the brew. Less would keep it from being an impact on the flavor and more would definately be too strong. I think this one is a winner.

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Photo of timtheenchanta
2.55/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pale straw yellow color with a thin head and little retention. There is some moderate lacing clinging to the glass.

Some mild corn aroma and sweet pale malt. No hop presence although I don't think there should be much considering the style.

Somewhat sickly sweet taste to it. There is a kiss of hops in the taste.

It's smooth and a tad creamy. Nothing thrilling. Better than anything you'll find in a gas station around here though.

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Photo of Enola
3.08/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer ia a light amber color and there was a small head. The smell is similar to a light beer with a bit of sweetness thrown in. The taste is also in the lighter beer style. The taste is of cheap grain but without the general tastelessness of a mass produced beer. It is much smoother and mellowed out. The mouthfeel is overall pretty smooth. There is a lasting light beer type aftertaste. The drinkability is good. I could certainly session this beer. Terrapin has done a good job with this brew.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.19/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A clear golden appearance with a thin whispy head that disappaites rather quickly. Unimpressive. Maybe because it's a cream ale, but I was expecting a creamier head.
Smells of grass and straw. Has a fairly complex malty smell to it.
Taste of grass, butter, and a bit of artificial sweetness. The taste isn't as bad as it sounds. It is a smooth beer.
Mouthfeel is light bodied as it's suposed to be.
Is a nice drinkable summer beer.
This is by far the worst offering from an excellent brewer. I don't think Terrapin brewed this with the beer geek in mind. It's more of a cross-over beer for the BMC drinkers.

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Photo of jimbotrost
3.85/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 3/23/06, purchased in a mixed six pack at Southern Market in Myrtle Beach. Contract brewed in Frederick, Maryland. Bright gold pour with small wisp of a head and slight on carbonation. Nose is soapy and grassy. Grassiness carries through the flavor and is masking the malty sweetness which is lurking. Crispness arrives in the body and through out the finish to save this beverage from mediocrity. Nice for style.

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Photo of MSchae1017
2.69/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from a bottle.

This beer pours a golden yellow with a frothy white head that leaves a little film and a little lace. The beer smells like a macro with less rice and corn and more barley. The beer tastes mostly malty, kind of similar to an all malt lager but less smooth. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated but a little more watery than is to be desired. Overall, its a good crossover beer but not one that I would pick up again.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear golden color with a thin white head - obviously heavily filtered as the beer is not the least bit cloudy. The head dies off to a thin collar which leaves only a bit of lacing on the glass.

The nose is a light combination of sweet malt and a lager-like hop, almost floral in smell.

The flavor is on the light side with sweet grain notes on the front end including a light biscuit flavor as well as a somewhat sweet corn flavor. The hops are equally restrained on the back end but do compliment the sweet grain rather well with a light touch of Cascade-like bittering and a good amount of floral notes to compliment.

Mouthfeel is the real strength of a Cream Ale and here the Terrapin is a winner. Just as Oatmeal adds creaminess to a stout the grains here add a smooth creamy texture to this beer. There's a lot of fine carbonation to add sparkle to each sip and a light but effective amount of hop bitterness to balance out the sweetness. No oily or cloying sweet coating on the tongue, just a clean, dry finish.

All in all good beer and quite drinkable but not likely to make anyone's 'top ten' list. It's a good beer to drink when you're sitting down to watch a game (if you're not quite in the mood for a light lager) Likely also a good crossover beer for the folk used to drinking fizzy yellow water.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.32/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't very impressed with this one. It had zero head. Almost no lace. It had a little bit of malt in the nose and some other faintly sweet aromas I was unable to identify. Ultimately, it didn't really smell like anything. It didn't have an offensive smell, but it didn't smell inviting, either. It has a bit, and I mean a little bit, of a malty taste and a tiny, tiny, bit of hops hiding in the back. Waaay in the back. For the most part, I thought any potential flavour was muted. Mouthfeel is quite smooth and indeed creamy as the style indicates. All in all, this is very un-impressive and average at best.

I must have had a bad bottle of this or perhaps one or more of my senses were "off" or not condusive to rating a beer the first time I rated this a few nights ago. I have since had this again. I didn't alter my ratings of A S T M D too much, but it was a little more pleasant experience the second go 'round. The colour didn't change at all, but there was a fluffy white head approximately a finger's thickness which surprisingly remained almost throughout consumption. It had a little different mouthfeel to it; and most notably, there was much more smell and taste present this time. More sweet malt both in smell and taste. This still isn't an amazing beer by any stretch, but I do have kinder words for it after trying it a second time.

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Photo of NClifestyle
4.13/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not the greatest beer in the world, but in comparison to the rather bland category of cream ales, this one was pretty damn good.

Pours up one shade toward amber past gold. A huge white, creamy head of foam appears, and sticks around, nice white lace.
Smell is average, mostly malt and grain.
I didn't expect much from the taste, but there was a nice, english malt presence in there. Very little hop, just some bittering effect in the back.
Mouthfeel was medium to thin, but carbonated well. Drinkability is huge, if the weather is hot. I would seek this out again, if looking for a cream ale, of if heading to the beach. This is a perfect beer to give to bmc drinkers to start them on their way to better beer.

Remember, I'm not comparing this beer to anything other than cream ales!


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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.

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Photo of KyleVick4
2.95/5  rDev -14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden with very mild hints of amber near the center. Quick head after the pour which dissipates and leave no lacing whatsoever.

S: Smells perfumy and citrusy. Not very powerful, but the smell is there, just have to try a bit

T: Smooth sweet and corn adjuncts. Aftertaste is a nice balancing of hops. Tastes like what I think an ultra ultra macrobrew would taste like.

M: Light and creamy. Feel the carbonation a little more than most beers

D: Great. I could drink this beer by itself until I couldnt stand anymore. A great session beer and if you want a microbrew to get ripped on without filling you up this is your man. Its unique corn taste is actually mildy pleasing.

Overall this is a great beer to give to a buddy who still drinks macrobrews. Its a great stepping stone to bigger and better beers.
The first sip I had of this I thought it was shit. Then I realized the potential it has, it gives me a good beer to drink after my first couple micros on friday nights. Rather than reverting to Bud Select or Coors Light and wanting to vomit afterwards.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
2.83/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle, no dating. This uses 5 types of malt, including a generous amount of flaked maize. This beer uses a “First Wort Hopping” process according to the neck ring.

Pours a crystal clear honey gold, with a single lone carbonation stream meandering to the surface. The head is bright white and crackling, consisting of loosely packed medium sized bubbles, that thins down to a dusting of fine bubbles. The smell is sweet and grainy, very clean with minimal hops. The taste is sweet and the corn is prominent, finishes with a gentle hop note, but not overly distinctive. Light body and a thin mouthfeel, not too much carbonation. Tastes a more like an American Macro lager. Perhaps if it had been a steamy hot summer day, it would have been easier to overlook the shortcomings.

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Photo of Zorro
3.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled through the efforts of DeaconBluez and the BCG BIF.

Pours a clear golden colored ale with a fast fading white head.

Smell is a bit malty with a hint of crackers in the scent. There is some light fruitiness to this mostly the scent of honeysuckle. Mild herbal hop aroma, this is a mildly aromatic beer.

Taste is a little sweet at the start with some corn flavors. This beer stays a bit sweet with a hop bitterness to clean things up that matches exactly to the level of sweetness. No extra or subtle flavors to this one just clean beer that is a notch above the BMC bunch in taste.

Mouthfeel is good.

A smooth tasty beer that does what it aspires to be, just a good non-challenging beer. Very easy to drink and an excellent choice to nudge the macro drinker in your group towards better beer. Not a beer I would seek out but if I was in Atlanta and this was the best thing available next to Heineken I would pick this.

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Photo of sammy44
2.8/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass from a tap at Hooter's in Marietta, GA.

This is the only "cream ale" I have ever tried and I was largely unimpressed. Pour a Budweiser charge $4.75 for it and you have this beer. The smell was largely of macro lager grains. The appearance was a transparent straw yellow with a one inch head. The head reduced down quickly to a film on top of the beer that laced very little. The mouthfeel was good with good carbonation and very fizzy. The taste was typical macro lager grain and adjunct. I did think that drinking three or four at a sitting would be easy enough but why would you want to?

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle provided by DeaconBluez

Contract brewed by Frederick Brewing Co.

Pours a clear straw color with a thin white head that fades. Light lacing on the glass.

Has a very faint aroma. Smells slightly malty with a hint of corn. A trace of hops appears now and then..

Crisp malt flavor with a slight corn flavor. This is followed by a slight hop taste and then finishes malty and clean.

Could use a little more fizz to give the body some more zip.

This is a very drinkable cream ale. This would be a nice session brew for a summer evening on the deck.

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

Contract Brewed by Frederick Brewing Co. - Frederick, MD.

Fairly clear straw color with a nice white head and good carbonation. Decent light malt and light adjunct aroma with a touch of wheat/grain notes. Nice grainy maltiness is offset by balanced hops and some adjunct character which is appropriate for the style. Light-medium bodied and smooth with a dry grainy finish.

Nice summer quencher in GA I would bet ... true to the style.

Per bottle: "5 types of malt & generous amount of Flaked Maize" & "First Wort Hopping"

Per TBC website:
Malt: 2-row pale, Munich, Vienna, Malted Wheat, Flaked Maize.
Hops: Cascade, Mt. Hood, Santium.
IBU's: 21
O.G.: 12.2

'5149' lasered on the bottom
Tasted: 12/28/05

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.56/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very nice from a screw top bottle with no best by date. Half finger head is formed and leaves quickly.

Actually smells like a macro lager. Seems a bit artificial in the smell. Couldnt detect anything other than rice maybe and cheap grains.

Nice taste but would prefer almost any other beer. Clean finish with nice carbonation.

Pass on this offering. Good drinkability but wouldnt drink too many of them. Poor quality.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.84/5  rDev +12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright golden color with a flourish of a white fizzy head that disappears almost immediately. Appealing aroma of light sweet malt, a bit of adjunct malt, biscuit, honey, and a touch of floral hops. Palate is a bit subdued, with light malt accompanying some mellow hops. An underlying biscuity character provides a bit of sweetness. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. Highly drinkable, a great session beer.

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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.

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Terrapin Golden Ale from Terrapin Beer Company
3.43 out of 5 based on 436 ratings.
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