Terrapin Beer Co.
Samurai Krunkles IPA
Terrapin has consistently stepped up its game when it comes to its Krunkles IPA entries in the Side Project Series. Capt’n Krunkles (Vol. 10) was a 7.5% black IPA brewed with 2 lbs. of hops per barrel, and Indiana Krunkles (Vol. 15) was a 6.7% wheat IPA, merging the hoppiness of a West Coast-style IPA with the sweet malt notes of a traditional German hefeweizen. The latter was one of the more unique IPAs I’ve had in recent memory, so the series has been a hit for me.
Krunkles is back again with Samurai Krunkles, a 7.1% East Coast-style IPA brewed with ginger, green tea and jasmine rice. I was sold on using green tea in IPAs since I first tried the Stone/Baird/Ishii collaboration in which it was used. The flavor stands out, but the spiciness blends well with the hop profile.
The pour is a clear, deep orange with yellow around the edges and a slight haze. The finger of foamy head on top does sticks around and imparts some very nice lacing and some good alcohol legs.
The nose is somewhat astringent, coupled with a big lemon and green tea quality. There’s a real nice and surprising bit of melon and orange one the nose as well, and just a very light hop note. It’s masked very slightly by the ginger, which along with the green tea gives the beer a really nice herbal quality.
The taste is pretty mellow on the front and middle of the palate, but there’s a good full mouthfeel from the rice. The ginger really pops on the back of the tongue and it settles into the green tea on the finish. The green tea does impart a really nice lemon and citrus character, but no tartness. There’s grapefruit and pine and a little sweetness as well. It’s a bit of a weird combination, but they blend well.
Samurai Krunkles has gotten a lot of mixed reviews, and even some drain pours from what I’ve heard. That’s a shame, because this again is a really unique take on an IPA. If you don’t like green tea or ginger, you won’t like it, but if you do, the herbal bouquet, melon-y sweetness and bright citrus character are a really good mix and compliment each other very well.