Terrapin "The Walking Dead" Blood Orange IPA

Terrapin has had a slow positive progression (much like my blog itself) in my reviews, and this one is a TV tie-in. While I was understandably skeptical of this kind of thing before, the many times I've tried beers that had names associated with TV shows or even rock bands have shown that these can really turn out well.

To its credit, it is a reddish-orange, but it does seem to have some brown thrown in (I won't penalize them for it). The head is just about perfect. It's sticky and leaves loads of lacing on the sides as it recedes, and it leaves a good 1/8th inch of foam resting on top. The aroma is citrus hops mixed with some pine and a chunk of fresh bread. It really makes the mouth water (if you like hops).

A sip brings a more brutal beer than I expected. It has a fierce bite of bitterness that is not particularly well sorted by the malt. The malt is there, it just doesn't seem to be doing anything to mitigate the bitterness from those citrus hops. The pine is just chiming in with a bit of flavor while contributing heavily to the bitterness. So, we have flavor, but the overwhelming sensation in a sip isn't very nice. Maybe with a full swig...

Tip-in is more pine than citrus - which catches me off guard. The carbonation swirls, but it isn't burning. As the middle rolls in, hops still dominate, but the bitterness from the sip just isn't there in the same quantity. Instead, the flavor of pine and citrus dance contently while bread crumbs fall to the floor. The middle is very nice, indeed. Then the finish comes along, and a shutter of bitterness hits and quickly fades. Floral and citrus trail off hand-in-hand.

Bottom Line: Not a sipping beer, this is a complex and flavorful beer that requires a good swig to really enjoy, but it will pay off when you do.



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