The Terrapin Bewery out of the musical city of Athens Georgia has been brewing some well respected ales since 2002. In addition to their usual (and award winning) lineup, they now offer a limited series of experimental beers and a high gravity line known as “Monster Beers”. The Terrapin Monks Revenge is one of these monsters.
[twocol_one]A high ABV Belgian IPA, this small batch release comes in 4-packs with a picture of a turtle riding a horse like a medieval bard. The concept is something like a Belgian Tripel malt bill, with an American IPA or DIPA hop load. The branding is a bit quirky, and so is their take on this “style”. Style in quotes because a Belgian IPA is not a recognized and defined beer style by stuffed shirts like. say the BJCP. But definitions are merely descriptors of the language at a given time. The language of beer is a living thing! Belgian IPA may not have official sanction, but breweries are making some very tasty beers in the style such as Flying Dog’s Ragin’ Bitch and Stone’s Cali-Belgique. Let’s see how Monks Revenge stacks up.
Pours a solid copper orange with a wispy white head. The bouquet is sweet malts and spicy with strong banana scents coming through, as well as hops. The taste starts out as sweet as it smells. Lots of spiciness from the Belgian yeast along with a domineering banana flavor. Like those banana chips that come in trail mix, this guy is giving off a lot of esters. The brewer only states he used a yeast “from one of the 7 Trappist breweries” but that may give us some indication as to where those flavors are coming from. A good hoppiness finishes out the beer along with some lingering heat from the high alcohol content.
Steve’s Take: A huge beer. Lots of spice, malt and a strong hop finish with good mouthfeel, but a little hot. I prefer the Stone Cali-Belgique or Ragin’ Bitch, but this delivers what it promises.
Dave’s Take: Sweet and spicy with graham cracker malt flavors, dried banana chips and clove. Prickly carbonation (too much). Piny bitterness.