Since my relocation to North Florida, I must admit that I have spent most of my time exploring locally brewed concoctions and have not ventured beyond the Sunny State all that much. Recently, however, I have been turned on to Terrapin and have been mostly glad with what I've discovered.
Terrapin Beer Co., out of Athens, GA, used to produce Hop-Karma under a different name (India Style Brown Ale). Wisely, they moved away from the former name (because it was just plain boring) and gave this beer a spunky new title. There's a fun little Indian-inspired design on the label that caught my attention and interest. So, kudos to the Terrapin marketing team for designing something fun and interesting!
Now to see if that same spunk was found inside the bottle.
Hop-Karma Brown IPA's aroma is full of roasty malts and something sweet--caramel, chocolate, and molasses maybe. I can also smell a hint of fresh hops, but I only detected it after I took a couple of sips. No doubt, the smell is overpowered by the malts and sugar notes.
The taste is far more complex than the smell. Sure, there are flavors of roasted malts, caramel, and molasses on the front end of the taste, but those flavors are quickly washed away with a citrus kick from the hops. The flavor finishes with a touch of bitterness and dryness, but leaves a unique after-taste that is very pleasant. There are echos of orange peels and chocolate flavors that linger--it is really quite enjoyable.
This is a well-balanced beer that has the best of all worlds. Hop-Karma Brown IPA is a beer that will please hop-heads and malt-bomb lovers alike. It's not too heavy and at just 6% ABV, it's not too dangerous either. There's not much to complain about with this one. It's a beer with which I could easily keep the fridge stocked.