Terrapin Golden Ale | Terrapin Beer Company

207 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
Reviews: 207 | Ratings: 433
Photo of kevinjosephlee
3.91/5  rDev +14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a glass

A: Yellow-gold with some haziness, with a low whitish head will little retention and no lacing

S: Malty aroma with corn notes. Perhaps some sulfur. Alcohol detectable.

T: Bready and malty sweetness. Alcohol detectable here too. Low to low-medium bitterness.

M: Light to light-medium body. Light and crisp. Moderate to high carbonation. Some alcohol warmth.

D: Very drinkable, in the sense that I could pour about 8 of them down the hatch without too much effort. Not to much complexity here, but that wasn't the brewer's goal.

Overall: Honestly, this is my least favorite offering from the Terrapin brewer. It is their stock lawnmower beer, a beer that American's could like. But they hit the nail on the head when it comes to the chosen style, and the quality of ingredients is obvious.

 824 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 PretzelsNBeer
3.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Ya gotta throw a lighter session beer out there if your arsenal includes the big hoppy monster, rye squared and imperial stout. This beer tastes good for what it's intended for; a nice light refreshing beer which a nice balanced taste. This is the kind of beer you can give a friend or family member who isn't quite as adventurous a beer drinker. The beer pours golden in color with an average head and aroma since it's not hopped to the tits. The mouthfeel is where it should be for a golden ale; effervescent but not too bubbly - on the lighter side of medium bodied. A nice well balanced golden ale which can be used as a first start for a night of sampling other Terrapin beers. Think of it as a Bobby Weir opener (Stranger possibly?) in the first set, just priming the pumps for a killer show. You'll know after 2 or 3 of these you'll be in for a long long crazy crazy night after you step it up to the hoppy monster, stout or rye squared. Good stuff from Terrapin - the Golden ale comes across as advertised.

 1,014 characters

Photo of whiplash3825
3.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden straw color with a 2-finger head that quickly collapses to a light cap... no lacing.

Sweet grainy scent... very mind smells.

Pretty mild taste also, sweet malt and grainy corn up front with just a touch of hops at the end. Pretty boring, but also nothing offensive.

Nice mouthfeel... thicker than you'd think.

Very sessionable and easy drinking I'd say. Doubt I'll go out of my way to have another, but I'd take it over a macro brew anytime. Knowing the quality of most of Terrapin's other offerings (and the comments on the bottle lol), I imagine this is exactly what they were shooting for when they created it.

 632 characters

Photo of drhinehart
3.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SBALDWIN for this one.

Pale yellow color, medium head. Head dissipates quickly. Slightly cloudy. Smells of sweet malt. Not much if any hop aroma. Maybe some corn. Clean tasting, sweet. Some citrus. Very light bitterness at the end. Crisp, clean, medium body. High carbonation. Goes down easy. A very refreshing beer.

 327 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 zplug123
3.83/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A pale, straw color with an abundant head, persistent lacing.

S: Slightly sweet, malty with a hint of corn

T: Sweet maltiness right off the start with tiny hop bitterness at the end

M: Light-bodied and clean finish

D: Not remarkably tasteful, but seems like a great session beer with a good amount of malt sweetness

 322 characters

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

Had this on tap 8/14 at Shorty's in Atlanta.

Yellow straw, with a white head. A few sniffs of this prove rather unremarkable - sweet corn and wheat aroma with some light hops also apparent. Flavor matches smell - faint orange and lemon character. Mouthfeel is pretty good - smooth, full body for a lighter beer, with ample, but not excessive carbonation. This beer is not bad, but falls into (the upper end of) that standard Golden Ale category, intended to offer a conservative, play-it-safe alternative to BMC beer.

 518 characters

Photo of goblue3509
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Is a straw hazy yellow color. The smell is of grains and barely with a little sweetness at the back. The taste is sweet grains with a little malt. There is also a some citrus hop flavor at the end to make it slightly bitter. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. The drinkability is good, you could drink a good amount and drink it over and over.

 349 characters

Photo of sarahspat
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy straw color; effervescent. Very small, weak-looking head reduces to a small ring's worth of retention. No lacing.

Smells malty and sweet. Bread, grass, lemon, banana are all in there somewhere.

Tastes sweet as well. Apricot, bread, pear, banana.

The body is light with carbonation that tickles the mouth.

Overall, not bad... and quite drinkable. However, it's not particularly memorable. Probably my least favorite beer of Terrapin's otherwise spectacular line-up.

 483 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

3.5 A: Semi-hazy golden yellow color. White head starts out frothy but becomes a ring of lace very quickly.

3.5 S: Grainy and corn.

3.5 T: Sweet graininess upfront. Good balance of sweetness and bitterness. Also a touch of hop flavor.

3.5 M: Light body. Good carbonation. Surprisingly creamy.

3.5 D: Somewhat boring, but goes down well.

 367 characters

Photo of donmonkey1
3.18/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Golden with a white head. The carbonation is incredible and really inviting. Good lacing.

Smell: Very sweet malt with honey.

Taste: I can't really taste any hops. It's sweet. It tastes like a great, cheap beer. It's a little off without really being offensive.

It's not a particularly good beer but it's not really offensive so it would be easy to throw back several. It has something like a corn syrup taste that bothers me.

 440 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice bright gold color with a pale white head. Nose has notes of sweet corn, a subtle herbal hop profile and malts. Taste has a definite sweetness to it. It has a crispness, hoppiness to it. Unlike a cream ale if you can actually call it that. Very drinkable but for the style its a bomb but for a great tasting brew its a good one.

 341 characters

Photo of DrinkinBoy
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Terrapin Golden Ale pours a light straw color, pretty light but still more color than most macro lagers. White foamy had has decent retention.

Its smell is light, but has a bit of hops with some citrus notes and hop bitternesss.

The taste is very light and refreshing, but still has enough complexities that would be expected from a good craft brew. There is a nice malty sweetness at the front with a good hoppy mid palate, it finishes crips and clean

Its mouthfeel was more full than a macro lager, but again this is an improvement.

Overall, this is a very interesting beer for a craft brewery to put out. It could function both as "training wheel" beer for people just getting into beter beer, or a sessional beer for someone who enjoys well made beer. Overall its worth a try or two.

 791 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got 2 bottles of this beer from 2 different BA's - in a trade with Kiefdog, Thanks Kevin!
and as part of alleykatking's 'Local Stuff BIF' from jyounger30, Thanks Jay!

12oz bottle served in a pilsner glass.

Clear golden color with a fluffy white head that hung around for a while and left trails of lacing.
The aroma is grainy malts and a hint of hops.
Grainy sweetness most of the ride with a low end dose of bitterness on the finish.
Crisp, light and refreshing.
It's easy to put a few of these away.

 505 characters

Photo of rhinos00
3.16/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this an extra from kkipple. Thanks Dan! Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark, straw colored yellow. Probably half a fingers width of thin white head that eventually reduced to a ring after a few minutes. Semi-clear in appearance.

S- Slight scent of malts with a mild sweentess. Not much going on here. Was hard to detect the various aromas as they were so muted.

T- The little additions saved this one from being on par with macro adjunct lagers. Low malt profile with a little bit of hops bitterness. There was also a slight sweetness in the finish. All of these flavors were just enough to override the corn water presence most akin to all macros.

M- Thin feel with a decent amount of carbonation.

D- As far as drinkability goes, I could easily drink a whole 6'er in a sitting. It is pretty sessionable. Do I enjoy the flavors, not so much, but it is an easy drinking beer.

Overall, probably would not bother with this one again. If it came down to a BMC product or this, obviously this would be my choice. There is just enough in this beer to put it a step above.

 1,107 characters

Photo of Anthony1
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A nice golden color. Nice head with ok lacing.

S- a mild aroma of wheat, hops, malt, and (i think sweet corn?)

T/M- a nice bit of maltiness with a taste of wheat. There is a taste of corn, spice, and lemon. It's a medium body with
a medium, but prickly level of carbonation.

D- Enjoyable to drink, would buy more. I love terrapin and enjoy visiting their brewery

 371 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.3/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love Terrapin bottle art. Claims to be the "perfect session beer." Straw colored with a white fizzing head. Weak retention an no lace. Freshness dating!

Smells like honey grain with some vanilla and lemon.

Mild peppery light grainy citrus. Light and refreshing Golden Ale is perfectly carbonated. Far from the perfect session beer but pleasant drinking nonetheless.

 369 characters

Photo of kkipple
3.08/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have studiously avoided this beer for years after a terrible draft experience, but given that Terrapin has been impressing me lately, I decided to dig back into it 3 years later. And... it's not bad.

There still ain't a lot here, true, but the ultra-corny flavor is much diminished, and it seems (judging from my past review) a vastly improved product. Deeper color and better head retention via this bottle, this is a basic brew with a small malt profile that is actually rather refreshing, as advertised.

Basic light malt profile, some sweetness tempered with just a touch of hop bitters, still some unwelcome DMS (corn) flavor, but it's not a corny puddle like I had previously. I can live with it. Wouldn't buy it, but I can live with it.

So, bottom line, this really ain't as bad as all that.

 802 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 jjanega08
4.01/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A= Looks pretty cool in a pint glass actually. Completely clear around the edges with no color at all when held up to the light. A very small head comes out of it and quickly falls to nothing with no lacing. Color is actually a somewhat hazy yellowish brown.
S= hmmmm. Interesting. Not the best odor from it. Smells like old socks kinda. sweet corny kinda smell I guess
T= not bad! A little sweet with a very small hop bite. Adjunct lagery but sweeter with a little butteryness to it.
M= Smooth and crisp. Very mellow
D= Great. The smell was quite the turn off but the taste is nothing bad at all and quite smooth and relaxing actually. Great beer!

 649 characters

Photo of carp420
3.1/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

filled a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle

golden ale with some slight carbonation small bubbly head that doesn't last,very little lacing.

smells yeasty, almost pilsnerish, some floral notes but not impressive

taste like a thick ale, creamy, yeast and hints of the floral notes that you can smell, but rather bland tasting, better than a macro but generic for a great craft brew

mouthfeel is not impressive, rather thin but leaves you wanting more, i could see me putting some of these down by the pool.

i was hoping more out of this terrapin brew, i've had it a ton of these over the years as terrapin is one of the few constant craft brews always available here in georgia but this is probably my least favorite of their beers, but when it's 95 degrees outside this beer is a thirst quencher for sure.

 805 characters

Photo of Strix
3.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden, some head.

Vague citrus, pilsnery hops, and a general beery smell.

Taste wanders into pilsner/macroland. I didn't really pick up any of the floral elements I like in a cream ale. Just a cerealy beery taste.

Mouthfeel generic.

Unremarkable. Terrapin makes some excellent beers, but this one didn't excite me.

 334 characters

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

One of a number of extras from Kiefdog, thanks man!

Pours a very pale, very straw/hay color that is a bit hazy. There is a nice fluffy head on this one with some decent lacing.

Smell is pretty grassy, a bit of sour malt and lemon/citrus. Its a sort of odd smell, kind of sweet and sour sauce-y.

Taste is a bit spicy, lemonade-y, sour/sweet and juicy. Its actually quite refreshing and a beer that I'd grab on a hot day out on the deck (if I had a deck of course).

Decent beer, nothing too amazing but its a very drinkable beer and that is probably what Terrapin was going for...

 582 characters

Photo of CrellMoset
3.24/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks! Tried this one before many a time (being from GA and all), but it's good to finally sit down and review it. Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a nearly completely transparent golden body - apropos of the name - capped by one-finger of foamy, bubbly, pure white head with average retention that ultimately fades to a pretty thick sea foam-esque sheen. Well-dispersed bubbles of medium size and medium speed stroll lackadaisically upwards towards the dusting. Leaves a few patches and streaks of solid lace on the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Not much goin' on here. Pretty faint and far away, with a few dashes of leafy, hay-like hops, slightly spicy but mostly vegetal, as well as a few sweet, candied lemon/orange zest notes. Way too faint, though.

Taste: Pretty simplistic. A few tart and slightly grassy hop notes more than hold their own against a sweet and slightly spicy malt foundation, pale and rudimentary. The grassyness is slightly vegetal in places, too. It's actually not too sweet, which is nice, given the body.

Mouthfeel: Very well-carbonated, thin, and light. Not too many complaints about the mouth - it's appropriate for the style, and works decently well the flavors.

Drinkability: Probably Terrain's worst beer, though at 5.0% and given its price and availability at many bars in Atlanta/Athens, I can't knock the drinkability too much. It's light, inoffensive, relatively easygoing, and actually sort of flavorful - though the flavors really aren't my cup of tea (beer). Worth trying, and better than many alternatives at many shitty dives in Georgia, so keep an eye out for it if you're ever in those situations.

 1,705 characters

Terrapin Golden Ale from Terrapin Beer Company
3.43 out of 5 based on 433 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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.