Terrapin Brewing Co – Samurai Krunkles

I want to start off by saying I have never purchased a beer because I thought I wouldn’t like it.  I will admit that I’ve had my doubts when purchasing some beers; however, I have always gone into consuming a brew with a positive mindset.  There are certain breweries I have come to realize I like less than others, but I’m still more than willing to give their beers a try when I see them become available.  Terrapin is quickly becoming a hit or miss brewery for me.  I originally didn’t realize this was the case, but as I look back at the beers I’ve reviewed of theirs for this site, I haven’t particularly enjoyed any of them.  The first beer I had was a beer using chili peppers.  I thought the base was great, but the chilies ended up giving me a stomach ache.  The other was a beer I thought may have gone bad.  I can tell you I’ve tried a few other beers that I haven’t reviewed, and I’ve liked them quite a bit.  So I’m thinking I need to review one of theirs that I’m more happy with so I don’t seem like such a downer.

This beer really stuck out to me because of the extra additives to it.  Terrapin has billed this as their Asian IPA.  While featuring five different varieties of hops in the brewing process, it also uses ginger, green tea, and jasmine rice.  I didn’t realize the rice was in there till I checked out their site.  Anyway, I thought this could be really interesting.  I added ginger to my own saison with some pretty good results.  I also had Stone’s green tea IPA last year and thought it was pretty good.  So I really thought I had picked up a Terrapin special release that was pretty good.

I know Terrapin has released more than a few brews with that title Krunkles in it.  Unsure of what this word is meant to mean, I headed to the Terrapin site to find out more.  Krunkles, evidently, is a legend they hold to about a man obsessed with brewing hoppy beers with tons of different types of hops.  He traveled the world looking for hops, and they have modeled these hoppy special releases to honor his memory. Ironically, I looked Krunkles up online for a definition.  The only definition I found was from an Urban Dictionary that said it meant to hit someone in the testicles.  That may actually work for me on this one as I had a tough time finishing it even with a friend’s assistance.

This one pours a rich darker orange color.  It already has a very syrupy quality in the glass.  There is a very light frothy white head that develops on top of the beer.  Swirling the glass reveals some light lacing and fairly good sticky residue.  There is a lot of haze to the beer as well; however, despite the syrupy nature and haze you can still make out the little amount of carbonation.

The overwhelming aroma is some big orange citrusy smell.  The light spice of the ginger is fairly obvious, and you can definitely pull out the herbal scent of the green tea leaves as well.  While you would think the green tea aroma is a good thing, I actually think the scents are a little off-putting.  A thought started to come to mind while I was analyzing the beer, what if the leaves for the green tea started to compost.  Personally I thought it had a little bit of stinky wet compost smell to it.  The hops are certainly there as well, and it may be some strange reaction between the hops, ginger, and green tea I’m getting, but it has a certain off-putting aroma.

The one review I read about this beer said it tasted buttery.  I can certainly agree with the buttery flavor at the onset of the tasting.  It has a light buttery malty flavor to start off.  The big orange flavors come in and linger throughout the entire tasting.  There is a very slight hit of hops and a little spice as well.  The big ginger works in well with that very slight spice.  It’s following the ginger that it all goes a little strange and funky to me.  The tea comes in for the finish, but it manages to take the flavors in the wrong direction.  It may once again be the odd combination of ginger, hops, and green tea, but it really has a strange compost aftertaste that really lingers.

The mouth is quite thick, syrupy and, buttery at the beginning.  There is a certain freshness in the middle as the carbonation builds.  The hops and ginger help to add to that fresh quality as well.  It’s the ending that goes strange for me.  It’s something about the flavors that don’t complement each other.  I have loved these individual flavors in different brews, but something is amiss in this concoction.

I really wanted to like this beer for a lot of different reasons; however, it just didn’t do it for me.  I would probably steer clear of this bottle if you happen to come across it.  Like I said earlier, I don’t buy beers I think I’ll hate, but I sometimes manage to get those very beers in the end.  I’m hoping to find a special release from Terrapin I can rant and rave about, but this is not that release.

Teacher Grade: F



  1. Thanks for the mention. Sorry it sucked.

    • You should be sorry it sucked. Why would you brew a beer like this!?!? Not a problem I almost didn’t fail it, but it was the after taste that I couldn’t get past.

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