Review Date 10/23/2010
I haven't missed a beer in the Terrapin Side Project Series yet, but even if I didn't have that motivation to pick up volume 11 in the series, Boom Shakalager Bavarian Style Imperial Lager, the label would still have sealed the deal. Decoratively festooned as it is with a tuba-toting typ (no typo, that's German for guy) in lederhosen and beer-laden fraulein in a dirndl, this one would have caught my attention straight off.
And of course the timing for the same was right on, since the beer was released just in time for September-October Oktoberfest celebrations. Here's what Terrapin says about the beer on the bottle:
Boom Shaka-Lager is the next installment in Terrapin's "Side Project" series of beers. This imperial lager is made exclusively with German malts, German hops and a true Bavarian lager yeast strain.
While 99% of the beers brewed at Terrapin are ales, we figured we should show some love to the lager style as well. Not that this off-beat, big beer is going to be brewed to a traditional style or anything.
Terrapin's Boom Shakalager Bavarian Style Imperial Lager is brewed with Munich, Vienna, Pilsner, and Caramunich III malts. It's hopped with Magnums, Tettnangers, Hallertau Mittelfreuh, Perle hops, and has an alcohol content of 9% by volume. I paid $7.99 for a 22-ounce bottle.
Terrapin Boom Shakalager Bavarian Style Imperial Lager pours to a dark amber color with a thick creamy head formation and a big toasted malt and alcohol nose. The beer had a bit less head formation than I expected at first, but a more vigorous pour produced foam in far more copious quantities. A sip reveals a bit more caramel tasting malt than I'm accustomed to in a lager (especially a Bavarian-styled one at that).
There is some toasty malt flavor too, though, which is more common for a German lager. There are some fresh baked bread notes, too. But fruity notes of pear and pineapple, though subtle, had me thinking pale ale when I ought not to be. The hops are a bit grassy in the finish, but the big alcohol burn sort of overshadows them a bit.
I like this beer well enough, but I've always been a bit skeptical about the trend of "imperializing" everything that comes down the pike. Terrapin Boom Shakalager is a good reason why. I just don't think you can use even German-style malts in the quantities needed to produce a 9% strength beer and end up with anything remotely resembling a German lager.
Oddly enough, it did serve nicely to wash down English-style fish and chips, though I'm not so sure how it would fare with brats and sauerkraut.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.