Big Muddy Monster - Big Muddy Brewing

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Big Muddy MonsterBig Muddy Monster

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72 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 19
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Muddy Brewing visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: emerge077 on 04-28-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

A marriage of an American Brown Ale with a hop-centric India Pale Ale. A very lively, distinctive aroma that hits the senses before the first sip is ever taken.

65 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 19
Reviews by TheWhiskerReview:
Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.41/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a thick 3-finger off-tan head, very dense and leaves lace clinging like spiderwebs.

The nose is a muddled mix of chocolate, nuts, caramel and dark green, piney hop tones.

In a sort of great way, this beer tastes just like I'd imagine the monster on the label smells- muddy, earthy, foresty- leading with a malty muddle of grain, dark bread dough and earthy chocolate while the drying hoppiness comes in fast and bitter leaving flavors of dark green leaf/pine and a bit of resin. Some roasted nuttiness shows up on the finish, which is bitter with a dried out maltiness.

I tasted three Big Muddy brews a while ago and was not very impressed with any of em. This, on the other hand, was pretty nice and definitely regained a bit of my faith in this fledgling brewery. I'm glad I finally have a local brew to enjoy when I visit the dirty 'dale.

More User Reviews:
Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nearly pitch black with a mocha head. very happy nose. citrus fruits with burnt . touches of licorice and mint.

rich creamy body. chocolate malts, faint sweetness, bright hoppyness on the back end.pretty big bitterness. a very hop dominant brown ale. minty herbal hop character with just enough malt character to carry it. touch of citrus peel bitterness. long finish that sticks to the gums. pretty good. this is an Indian brown ale, nice drowsiness with assertive and complimentary hop character

Photo of emerge077
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Kindling in Carterville, IL. Described as an "India Brown Ale".
Served in a tall footed glass. Review from notes.

Color is dark brown, lighter around the edges, with tan foam. A delicate crown of lacing forms, and the head settles to a wispy skim after the first couple sips. Rapid trails of rising carbonation visible along the edges.

Aroma was light and almost nondescript (possibly served too cold) mostly mild roast and an initial grassy hop note.

Light roast malt, firm herbal bitterness (almost like dandelion), black tea, tobacco leaf, a slightly floral impression, with dried citrus peel. Simple and straightforward with moderate hop bitterness. The resiny dry aftertaste sticks with you long after each quaff. Body is lighter with medium carbonation, not filling at all and overall pretty easy drinking.

Big Muddy Monster is a departure from the basic three lineup from BMB, which are geared more to the craft-novice crossover crowd just getting into craft beer. Glad to see they are trying out some different styles and getting creative. Nice work!

Photo of FungusBrewer
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Muddy Monster is a slightly above average beer spawning from the home-brewed hobby of a former student Chuck Stuhrenberg. The brewery itself opened in 2009.

I love this beer because it's local. Support your local organizations, and respect your taste buds. We're products of what we consume; one life, one chance to enjoy the sensation of taste.

Monster pours brown, heavy, and pleasing. If I had one word to say about this brew, it's "balanced". Just right pertaining to hops vs. malt. I love that it's 6 1/2 percent alcohol. It's drinkable, not too cloying, and relatively affordable if you're buying in Southern Illinois. If only I could convince all the frats around here to give up Natty Light out of conformity.

Photo of JLaw55
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is an odd duck, an IPA mixed with a brown ale. Literally, tastes just like I am drinking these two beers put in a glass together. It actually wasn't half bad though, which is saying something considering I am not a brown ale fan.

Wouldn't go out of my way to seek this out and purchase again, but it was drinkable.

Photo of metter98
3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear but very dark reddish brown in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige/tan head that has very good retention properties and consistently left a short head covering the surface and soe acing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of nutty malts are present in the nose.
T: The initial taste has flavors of nutty malts; these diminish a bit towards the finish as a light amount of bitterness becomes more prominent.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O:This beer is nice if you like nutty flavors because the hop bitterness really balance things out and prevent this from being too malty. I could see this as being a good choice when paired with a burger.

Photo of rfgetz
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lightly hazed dark brown with some red highlights, moderate plume of white head, good retention and sticky lacing. Very inviting scent blending firm piney and citrus hops with roasted nuts, toasted caramel and dark crusty bread. Taste balances the components of scent nicely, equal parts brown ale and IPA. Medium body, could use a touch more heft to stand up to the firm flavor, dry despite light sweetness in flavor. Nice intro to this brewer, a style I enjoy and do not see enough of.

Photo of TheSarge
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Produces a decent two finger thick head, when poured into a 20oz pint style glass, and is of an off white color with outstanding retention. The body is slightly hazy, and is dark ruby red in color.

The aroma is nice, in that there is dark and sweat bready malts, with dried dark fruits, with slight metallic traits with a hint of vanilla.

The taste is earthy, sweet with cocoa, bitter with a root quality. Hints of vanilla, Coffee and cola blended together, basically.

Feels coarse, full in body, and warming in the end.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Always fun to find a brand new beer at the local store. This one pours a mostly clear sunset ruby-brown topped by a half-finger of light dirty tan foam. The nose comprises grapefruit zest, light pine needles, light orange peel, light roasted malts, blackened toffee, and a touch of dark chocolate. The taste finds grapefruit rind and pine up front; these then bleed seemingly seamlessly into light roasted malts, buttery toffee, cashews, and very light bitter dark chocolate. Everything flows pretty nicely over the tongue. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda watery feel. Overall, a pretty nice brew, one that balances the flavors very well, but one that comes off a little too thin for what it purports to be. Still generally good times, though.

Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a brown color with a short 1/2" head falls slowly falls to a thick surface covering.

Smell: light earthy aroma with some nuts and hop bitterness.

Taste: bready malt profile, nuts, earthiness, nice citrus and pine hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: nice earthy brown ale that is pretty easy to quaff.

Photo of pitasoup
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

from 22oz,

A: pours murky brown with thick slightly off white head.

S: lots of citrus and pine hops, perhaps a touch of caramel and smoke towards the end.

T: hop bitterness, this is pretty much an ipa with some caramel sweetness at the end.

M: thin for a brown ale. i was very busy searching for something hearty, perhaps a touch of oatmeal and thickness but it wasn't there.

O: a fun concept but there was a lot missing here. The hops were unbalanced with the thin body. needs to be richer, more of a brown ale w/ caramel and toffee, rather than just hops. i'll applaud the attempt but it's nothing to seek out.

Photo of Suds
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A murky brown ale, with a soapy of-white head, the brew is attractive. At first sniff, it has a very citric smell. Big-time orange peel.m some orange blossoms and lemn...a touch of background hoppy pine. The aroma is one of this beers best qualities. The taste is dryish, with a bit of fruit ans hop flavor. Malt, toasty and bready, is present, but takes a decidedly backseat. Medium-full in body and with a lingering bitter finish, the beer is very drinkable and very enjoyable.

Photo of Carrier4
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pumpkin beers are all the same, they taste good in the beginning, they smell awesome, and they look cool with a nice amber/blonde glow. However after 1 beer the sweetness has killed your appetite for a second and you feel like crap.

Photo of SudSavant
4.01/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma 10/12
Even when poured at a bit of a colder temperature than it should have, this beer was rife with pine scented hops, pineapples, and wood - in that order. It's a rather sharp, aggressive hop smell that makes me think this beer might try to strip the enamel from my teeth (gladly!). There is a malt sweetness behind it that compliments the sharp hops, yet adds a touch of chocolate. I am a curious and a bit scared to see how this plays out on the palate. That seemingly out of place malt does combine nicely with the touch of alcohol warmth. As the beer warms, the malts balance out the sharp hops very well and almost threaten to take away their spotlight.

Appearance 3/3
It pours a nice enough brown, but appears much darker in the glass. Only when held to light does any "brown" in this India-style Brown Ale become apparent. The underside of the surface shows a cola brown, and the bottom revealed some nice shiny copper colors. It's a god looking beer, but tries to hide it in all that darkness. The head is remarkable. It's not too big, not too small, but still generous. It's a great tan shade for this brown ale, pours in two tones, lasts very well, and leaves great lacing. What more could you want? It shows great craftsmanship in the making of this ale.

Flavor 17/20
There is no time wasted beating around the bush! This beer begins bold with such a darkly roasted brown malt that at first I thought it might be coffee! It is made to seem even darker by incorporating a nice hop bitter with it. This flavor continues into the backbone where it dims slightly, but also gives rise to a faint creamy sweetness. It's an interesting flavor to find in a beer this shade and a bit unusual to find a creamy sweet flavor this far removed from when the beer first contacts the tongue. A quick slurp really helps bring that flavor to the front. The finish is the most robust portion of this beer! All the hops have been playing nicely with the malts until this point, but in the finish the hops apparently decide to throw an impromptu party! The finish starts much more bitter than the backbone and is full of grassy and resin notes. It's quite tasty and a great send-off for this beer! The aftertaste is still those dark-brown malts and a pleasant lingering bitter. This beer finishes strong.

Mouthfeel 4/5
The mouthfeel does not contribute to the "monster" promised on this bottle, but that doesn't make it bad. It's medium bodied at best, and enjoys a refreshing level of carbonation that foams slightly in the mouth which helps lend the beer a slightly silky quality. There's no warmth except for the bit detected in the aroma.

Overall Impression 8/10
This is a nice big, brown ale. The malts are dark and mean business, the aroma is balanced (after warming), the appearance is flawless, and it is more than a sound value for the price. Not a huge "monster" beer, but definitely more than your average brown ale thanks to a very nice inclusion and presentation of some great hop varieties.

Total 42/50
When I first smelled this aroma, I thought I was in for a shock. The hop presence was crazy and I was ready for a big, aggressive experience. However, that's not what this beer is all about. Sure, they want to incorporate a strong hop presence (hence the label art and "india-style" in the name), but the overall beer is more important to them and rightly so. The hops do diminish as the beer warms, but that's when the beer truly comes into its own. All those wonderful malts play their part, not just as a balancing act, but as a contributor to the beer. Now if the beer had continued its strong hop presence, it certainly could have been considered more of a "monster," but that monster would've also been a one trick pony.

This treads an interesting border between styles. I feel the "India-style" portion was right on! Great hop presence, though not much to speak of regarding caramel sweetness. The brown portion is certainly robust enough, especially with the presence of hops, but felt it was a bit lacking as far a sweetness or nuttiness is concerned. Overall, as a brown this beer is phenomenal! It says monster on the bottle, but don't let that lead you into thinking "imperial" or "full bodied." Instead, it's a beer chuck-full of flavor (Brewmaster pun not intended), that remains very drinkable and thankfully not as heavy as some of the more "extreme" beers available. I would not be afraid to introduce this to my more experienced and serious craft beer buddies. If you've ever enjoyed a brown ale, but wanted a more serious version, this is it!

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Well. It's a mildly hoppy brown ale. Not really sure what to say about it. Except that I suppose this is one of the times when I wish I didn't have to provide 250 characters. Is got the typical brown ale profile, which is pretty decent. The hops are an accent. Seems to make it a bit more earthy. Nice enough to drink.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good bubbling i this hazey, dark ruby, brown and bronze colored brew. One finger head after the pour, and just a whisper of foam after a few sips.

Brownies, roasted bread crust, and grassy, earthy, hint of citrus aroma.

Taste starts off roasted malt of mild brownie, cocoa, and roasted bread crust. The hops hit the middle and finish the most. Splashing some earthy and citric bitterness to this roasted malt extravaganza.

Chewy, grainy sweet, and earthy and citric bitter palate that makes for a fun and interesting beer. Will buy again.

Photo of MasterSki
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by Chris (spycow) while watching the Bears throw away their season. Served in a Mikkeller over-sized snifter.

A - Off-white foam slowly settles to a thin cap and thick collar, leaving behind splotchy patches of lace. Faintly transparent dark brown body.

S - A mix of slightly faded citrus hops and chocolate milk. There's that typical brown ale malt bill, with roasted nuts, brown sugar, some earthiness, and a bit of fruity ale yeast.

T - The taste is unfortunately not as exciting as the aroma. The hop flavors are largely absent and there's a charry roast note obscuring some of the nice malt sweetness. Overly bitter finish, and on the whole a bit dull.

M - Creamy, medium body, with pleasant carbonation, and a dry and slightly resinous finish. Definitely my favorite thing about this beer.

D - Not the most exciting beer, but a good value at ~$4/22oz. I'd try this again if I knew it was fresh, but I didn't see any obvious dating on the bottle. Was finished easily, but wasn't particularly memorable.

Photo of oobergoober
4.43/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Delicious beer. Somewhat thick yet easy to drink.

Photo of BeerLover99
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: cloudy dark brown body, finger khaki head, good lacing

S: pine nose, malt, hint of caramel

T: caramel/toffee, nutty malt, roasted, pine mild bitter finish

M: med body, smooth/hint of oily mouth

O: Totally new brewery for me; happy to see my home state
has more breweries. Would love to try more of their beers.
Random find here in Jersey. Wish was a little creamier, would
get again.


Big Muddy Monster from Big Muddy Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.