Serve in Shaker, Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 740   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.8   SEASONAL: Autumn   EST. CALORIES: 249   ABV: 8.3%
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This mammoth imperial red ale leads with a tantalizing hop aroma that is quickly complemented by an enormous malt backbone. Finishing with a multitude of hoppy goodness, this “Monster Beer” is truly not for the faint at heart.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
dirtymike (2016) - Manchester, New Hampshire, USA - APR 16, 2005
GABF 2005 Deep amber in color with a large off-white head. Avery nice over the top citrus aroma and flavor, very green and resiny.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
belgianhomebrew (646) - Acworth, Georgia, USA - APR 5, 2005
Great hop aroma, and the body does not disappoint. Great malt balance for the level of bitterness in this one. If you like hops, you will greatly enjoy this.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - DEC 27, 2004
Dark amber with a light tan creamy head. Big citrusy grapefruit aroma and sweet malt. Crisp bitterness with a good malt backbone and tons of hops. Medium leaning to full body. An excellent beer. I could drink gallons of this stuff. Strike down the idiotic ABV laws and look at what this unknown (at least outside of their area) brewers can produce! Yum!!!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
CaptainCougar (7129) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - NOV 15, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 18, 2006 Rerate 11/18/06, 2006 vintage: Sweet caramely malty aroma has some buttery toffee notes and fresh grapefruity piny hops, but not as much as I remember from the 2005 vintage. Body starts with a good sweet caramel maltiness showing a fresh hop balance toward a slightly warming finish. Not quite as good as the 2005 vintage, but still a nice beer.

Rerate 11/18/05, First bottled batch: Pours a transparent deep amber mahogany with a very nicely lacing, frothy tan head. Aroma has a ton of piney hops with a touch of grapefruit. Body starts with a very nice sweet, toasty caramel maltiness well balanced with a fresh, bitter hoppy presence. Finishes bittersweet and crisp with no signs of alcohol. Tastes like hop candy if there were such a thing. This is just the epitome of an assertive and well-balanced big beer. Between this and Oggi’s Hop Whompus, I’ll take an imperial red over and imperial IPA any day!

Original rating 11/15/04, on tap: Pours a clear mahogany copper with a thick and well-lacing, cream-colored head. Aroma overflowing with rich sweet caramel malt and fresh piney hops. Starts with a pleasant syrupy sweetness nicely balanced with its more bitter counterpart leading to a grapefruity hop resin finish with an almost gritty malty palate. Has an awesome mouthwatering finish that hides the alcohol very well and leaves one yearning for another sip. This bigger, hoppier version sure is tasty!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Shag (2559) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - NOV 8, 2004
UPDATED: NOV 9, 2004 On tap Taco Mac Alpharetta. This one was brownish red with a rather large head. The aroma was citrusy with a little bit of caramel also. The flavor was very hoppy with a bit of a syrupy character to it. I tasted mainly orange peels, lemons, pine, and a little bit of the caramel. Overall this one was quite good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
aracauna (2994) - Georgia, USA - OCT 24, 2004
This is definitely a bigger beer than the old 5 Seasons recipe. Amber brown body with a nice thick head. The aroma is a nice thick caramel malt with a nice spine of citrus peel hops. Malt dominates the flavor as well, but the hops provide a good bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the malt. Nice silky mouthfeel. Very good.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
biermonk (265) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - OCT 24, 2004
On tap at Summits Wayside Tavern...This is a fine specimen my fellow beer geeks...A wonderfiul blending of hops,hops ,and hops...Excellent fruit tones that carried on a tangy, tart vehicle for glorious hops..please do yourself a favor and try this beer...hopefully things will pan out for the guys at Terrapin right now they do not have a place to brew their beer and are doing some batches up in Virginia i think

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
wpp83 (64) - Athens, Georgia, USA - OCT 23, 2004
On-tap at the Mellow Mushroom. Poured a beautiful deep red with a nice creamy white head that lasted all through the beer with lacing that reminded me of a Guiness. The aroma was very grassy, lots of hoppy scents. And the flavor, imagine mixing a grapefruit drink with a truly well balanced IPA. The mouthfeel was characterized by a bite of mild carbonation mxed with a smoopth creaminess. Excellent beer if you want something to sit back and sip down without being assaulted by any unwanted flavors.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
rajendra82 (933) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - OCT 9, 2004
UPDATED: SEP 18, 2006 Obtained on-tap at Taco Mac on Windward Parkway, this beer was served in a plain pint glass, and displayed a dark reddish brown color between sweet tea and cola. The head was non existent, and there was only a small ring of bubbles, but this Taco Mac serves all their beers like this. The carbonation appeared soft.

The aroma was right on for a Double IPA, with huge flowery and herbal hops. There was also a good deal of malt backbone coming through.

The taste was hoppy and bitter as it should be, with a ton of grapefruit rinds and pine resin. The bitterness was kept in check by chewy caramel malt sweetness. The beer felt soft and smooth in the mouth, with a slight prickle of carbonation up front, and a chalky dry aftertaste.

Terrapin nailed this Double IPA right. I hope it becomes popular enough to be a bottled year around offering.

Update 2005
The first Terrapin monster beer in bottles, and hopefully one of many more to come. From what I remember, the release on-tap last year was tasty, but a bit timid. The bottled 2005 release goes a step further towards the DIPA level of hop bitterness. Unlike typical offerings in this style from other breweries, the pour was dark reddish amber, and the head is thin. The smell was aggressive, with hop oils singeing the nostrils. The taste at first was a shock to the system, with unbridled grapefruit rind bitterness, and a high level of seemingly citric acidity. As the taste buds adjusted, a little nutty malt flavor started coming through. Thinner than I was hoping for, this could use a little more body. The ABV is 8.3% per the label, and not particularly well hidden. But as a hophead, I found little to complain. The Imperial Red Ale moniker that the brewer has placed upon this is closer than the DIPA categorization. These is very little sweetness to check the hops, but why bother.

Update 2006

The 2006 version reviewed on the day of the release. I did not realized how much I missed this. Rich, deep red color, and a decent head give this beer a stately apperance. The smell is mild for a DIPA, but that is not due to a lack of hops in the nose. Instead the caramel malts just seem to smooth things over more than normal. The taste is a little more hoppy than last year, and this seems to make this a more brilliant creation. Love the way this just glides across the tongue. Scary drinkability for a beer so strong. Before I finished my first bottle, I had to get the second one out of the fridge and warming a bit. I am not sure I will be drinking anything else for a while. For those of you that were able to cellar this, you have more restraint than I. Once this monster is in the house, I seem to be drawn to it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jcc83 (137) - Athens, Georgia, USA - OCT 5, 2004
On tap at the Foundry. Beautiful ruby red body with a moderately thin white head. Aroma is completely dominated by hops, mostly a citrus scent with some piney overtones. Flavor hits with a big citrus tone, most strongly tasting of orange and grapefruit, followed by a nicely-proportioned hop bitterness and a final sweet malty note. The alcohol is felt more than tasted. A nice smooth brew with a creamy mouthfeel. This beer presents a wealth of hop flavors without overwhelming bitterness, and I like it a lot.

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