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Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster - Terrapin Beer Company

Not Rated.
Terrapin Big Hoppy MonsterTerrapin Big Hoppy Monster

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

839 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 839
Reviews: 590
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 158
Gots: 36 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  8.30% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Imperial Red Ale.

(Beer added by: rajendra82 on 10-09-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 839 | Reviews: 590 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ppoitras


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from hoppedup as part of the East Coast 6-Pack & Shirt BIF. Thanks for the opportunity. Best before box on label is empty.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" brown head above the lightly cloudy red brew. What head there is lasts pretty well, with average lacing. Aroma is full of perky green hops, with a little room for malt sweetness and some alcohol to peek through. Taste is initially well-balanced, and the the piney hops keep coming and coming, with a slightly warming close. Possibly light on the hops for the style, but we'll give the benefit of the doubt here. Mouthfeel and drinkability are great for the style. Very nice brew, wouldn't mind having another of these, for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2006 23:02:07 | More by ppoitras
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to pmccallum86 for sharing this one tonight!

vintage 2009

Poured into a pint glass.
Pours a fairly large near 2 finger beige head. Decent retention with some lacing. Color is a dark coppery hued ruby brown.

Aroma: Right of the top I get a lot of sweet caramel malt. This is a big malty beer. Some floral notes with a bit of citrus flavors. Not to much in the hop profile so far, but interesting.

Taste: This beer had a massive malt backbone, but it does bring some bitterness with it. I think the hops are faded, but there are some floral and leafy residual left with some light citrus flavors. The malt category is very unique. It is bready and sweet. Some caramel notes. A bit of alcohol shows. A big red ale.

Mouthfeel: Creamy with a slight amount of bitterness. Medium bodied, but big for the style, with a good amount of carbonation. Ends malty, dry, and sweet. Not bad.

Overall, a decent imperial red but I would like to have it fresh. It is pretty easy drinking, but very malty. Another decent beer from Terrapin. Thanks Peter for sharing this one!

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 03:58:13 | More by mothman
Photo of BARFLYB


2.98/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a Founder's pint glass. Excited to try this although I see it's contract brewed.

Thick. slightly viscous looking liquid with a hazy brownish gold out of the bottle becoming a bold copper red in the glass, almost like a oddly painted barnhouse. Alot of force on the pour only gave way to a half inch of caramel colored foam on top. Small spots of lacing.

This is not a very big hoppy monster I can tell by smelling it. There is some hop sense in a grassy earthy way but citrus is what the nose is lacking. Some grapefruit and pine if you search for it. Caramel malt is up front with a dash of honey.

The malt is just getting in the way here, it overpowers any hops in here. Seeing that this is an amber I would venture to say that it tastes like a Imperial amber/red with the bigness here, to bad the wrong ingredient takes the lead here, malts galore. It goes like this, malts, caramel, a dash of dark fruit and than some lingering bitterness from small hoppage, barely nothing.

The feel on this is big, a bit to big in fact, I feel this is a chore for me to drink with the diminishing returns. The body needs to be lighter, the hops need to be boosted, this is a typical example of a East coast amber. Give me a Nugget Nectar anyday over this. Medium bodied, kind of surupy, kind of bland.

Well, this was a miss for me, but I got through it. It's not a bad beer but it's lackluster as fuck. It doesent taste bad, it just does not taste as advertised. I will re review when I try this at Terrapin, I hope this is a contract brewed issue.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2010 07:23:42 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of ejimhof


4/5  rDev -1.5%

09-07-2013 00:36:19 | More by ejimhof
Photo of Stinkypuss


4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a. 12 oz bottle - pint glass. A stunning ruby red with some offwhite head and fine lace.

s. Bready smell from the yeast and malt. Some very faint earthy hops.

t. Nice hoppy taste with a honey like sweetness from the malts. Mead like at times but just a ton of hops and roasted tones. The hops are enough to keep the sweetness down, and it takes alot of sweetness to balance the hops. Alcohol esters present but overall not unpleasant. Hops are a mixture of grapefruit, pine, earth and lemon.

M. Smooth and creamy, very carbonated. Finishes bittersweet, literally.

D. This is one strong, flavorful ale. A nice red, and a hop head classic. The high abv limits its drinkability a bit, but in a perfect world this beer would be a staple.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 03:03:04 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of BillRoth


4/5  rDev -1.5%

12-15-2013 03:19:43 | More by BillRoth
Photo of John_M


3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep amber red color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty attractive, consisting of some light sweet malt and some pretty significant, perfumy hoppy citrus. Flavors aren't quite as attractive as the nose, though I still enjoyed the moderately sweet malt, cherry and baked apple, with some nice hoppy bitterness in the finish. There is also a bit of roastiness in the flavor profile, which I find to be generally typical for style. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, and drinkability is really pretty good for the abv.

This is a very easy to drink, uncomplicated, easty to appreciate hoppy red ale from Terrapin.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 22:04:04 | More by John_M
Photo of superspak


3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip, 2011 vintage, but no bottle date. Pours hazy red orange color with a fairly dense 1 finger light tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap. A bit of nice lacing sticks to the glass as well. Aromas of big orange, grapefruit, caramel, and tropical fruit; with a bit of pine, spices, and alcohol. Fairly sweet aromas here with good strength. Taste of big orange, grapefruit, caramel, pine, toasted malt, and spiciness. Nice amount of bitterness present on the finish, with lingering notes of caramel, pine, citrus, and a bit of spice. Pretty large amount of sweetness in comparison to bitterness. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied, with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden, with only a warming on the finish noticed. Decent drinkability for the level of alcohol, but it was still somewhat of a sipper. Overall a decent imperial red ale, but maybe it is better when it is fresh. This may have bit a bit too old.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2011 02:52:55 | More by superspak
Photo of brandoman63


3/5  rDev -26.1%

11-19-2011 03:25:19 | More by brandoman63
Photo of drewone


4/5  rDev -1.5%

01-28-2013 02:34:06 | More by drewone
Photo of rab53


3/5  rDev -26.1%

12-09-2011 04:47:23 | More by rab53
Photo of plaid75

New York

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep murky amber hue with a one and a half finger creamy thick off-white head. There was very good retention and good sticky lacing.

The smell featured a heavy earthy oily hop aroma with a sweet caramel malt element.

The taste consisted of an upfront citrus and spicy hop with an equally potent caramel malt. Very slight warming alcohol.

The mouthfeel was full with a relatively dry finish.

Overall a very good DIPA. High drinkability here despite the hefty ABV. Thanks to Aprilluvsbeer.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2007 03:55:13 | More by plaid75
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deep burgundy-rose color with a pie crust tinted head that lapsed rather quickly with a clean glass void of lacing. Rather tame and laid back appearance for something called big hoppy monster but coloring is nice.

S: Alcohol is prominent at first along with flowery hops of modest intentions. The alcohol seems to be the main focus here along with some toasted breadiness and lemon juice.

T: Once again the alcohol plays a key role. Husky graininess, toasted bread and dry flowery hops with an overlay of pine and semi-dry lemons come out rather strong. The malt base is humongous, while the finish finds what seems to be Amarillo hops lacing the tongue. Nice example of hop usage and maltiness. The complexity of flavors is rather limited though its balance of malts and hops and body substance makes up for such.

M: Bready mouthful with a full bodied maltiness. The texture is slippery with a bit of syrupy feel and some alcohol warmth coming on followed by a flowery coating on the tongue.

D: Alcohol fueled, a bit warmer then expected per 8.3% abv, but worthy of its name and drinks really well by the bottle being easily handled.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2010 23:20:27 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to my main man kkipple for hooking me up with a couple of these at DLD.

Pours a dark red, verging on brown, thin tan head forms, settles to a decent layer, drops some nice lacing on the glass, looks good. Smell is sweet bready malt, toffee, very fruity, nice floral hopping, sherry-like alcohol, quite nice. Taste is similar, rich, caramel, very bready, some light fruits, floral, orange/lemon citrus in the finish, alcohol, nicely balanced but a solid bitterness is there. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, some warmth, quite nice. Thanks Dan!

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2008 01:13:14 | More by Viggo
Photo of mdaschaf


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to VG for sending this my way!

A: Pours a murky red/amber with a one finger tan head that reduces a little, but a 1/2 finger head lasts for most of the rest of the time drinking this beer. Some foamy lacing formed around the entire glass.

S: Certainly hoppy, not sure if its a hop monster (will let the taste judge that aspect). Nice combination of pine and some orange as well as a little bit of spice, almost cinnamon. Pretty good dose of toffee and caramel as well.

T: Quite like it, not hoppy like an IPA, but a well done hoppy red ale, which was the goal. A little bit of bready malt, caramel and sugar as well as some pine and orange. A slightly bitter finish that is more on the sweet side.

M: Medium to full bodied, nice carbonation level giving it a bit of a creamy feel to it.

O: A well done beer, doesn't quite live up to some of the other hopped up american amber/red ales, but this one holds its own.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 00:59:08 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of smakawhat


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Vintage 2011.

A one finger light tan foamy head is presented off the pour, but at least it stays. Body color is a very dark indian red with ruby and red hues towards the edges. It looks a little frozen and lifeless.

Nose is strong ale smelling. Big malts and a little bit of heat. There is a hint of piney hop wanting to creep out behind this thick malt booze however.

Taste is like a chewy strong ale, with a faint chocolate bitter. This doesn't feel much different than a typical American Strong Ale. Rich malts with a thick body that is certainly tolerable. Hop angle on this is pretty much non existent. There is a certain tobacco like dry finish on this which is kind of interesting, sort of a "tickle" in the back of the throat.

It's a very good beer, not worth of it's name, maybe I have an old one, but it's too much in strong ale territory, however, it doesn't taste particularly boozy either for an 8 abv. I do enjoy it for what it is, just the name hints to me of some disappointment.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 00:59:16 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Latarnik

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -1.5%

06-01-2014 19:06:37 | More by Latarnik
Photo of DrJay


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to derrickt007 for throwing in this extra bottle as part of Double Trouble GIF.

This beer poured a clear, deep auburn with a light brown head. The foam formed a solid, short cap that showed decent retention and left a fair bit of lacing - pretty solid to start and a little more streaky as the glass emptied. The aroma was a nice combination of malt and hops - caramel and toffee sweetness along with notes of citrus and pine, just a little grassy and herbal. Pine resin bitterness starts soft and grows into the finish, gaining some grapefruit character by the end. Lots of rich caramel flavour with citrus, orange peel filling it out. A little viscous, very creamy with controlled carbonation. Just a little dryness with a hint of alcohol warmth. This is a damn fine beer, easy going down and leaves you wanting more. Thanks again Derrick!

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2007 00:16:36 | More by DrJay
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, haxy amber with a quarter inch of off white head that has great retention. Smells of bready malt and piny, faintly citrusy hops. Tastes like heavy barley malt with undertones of caramel, pineapple, and faint citrus. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with light carbonation.

This is a very smooth, easy to drink beer with a relatively high ABV. The malt content reminds me of fresh Bigfoot or 90 Minute, but the hop character is a little more subdued and pineapple-like. Delicious; I'd get another one in a heartbeat.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 01:22:05 | More by tdm168
Photo of JohnGalt1


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz EXTRA received in an already fantastic trade with GeezLynn.. No need Geoff, but truly appreciated!! Poured into my Delirium goblet.

2 finger head dies back and leaves very nice drapes of lace.. the brew is deep and dark amber..

Nose begins beautifully with great citrus hops but melts into thick and complex maltiness... caramel and subtle cocoa..

Flavor has a great bitterness with bunches of surprising malts that are abundant and somehow each independent.. citric hops and a bit of resinous pine.. burnt caramel and some chocolate malt.. very complex.. this is verging on Barleywine territory certainly... VERY American.. tons of hops and yet very balanced by the terrific malts.. body is medium with a smooth carbonation..

I've had this brew a bunch of times over the years, but the first time for sure that I've taken the time to review it.. I forgot how much I love the Terrapin goodness... Digging the handywork that is happening South of the Mason-Dixon.

Thanks again Geoff... proper trade! and a great trader who should be welcome with open arms and an eye for gots.

All 4's

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 08:11:17 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of glid02


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Original Review 10/2008 - Got an especially fresh 4-pack of this while I was up in Athens from Five Points.

Pours a completely clear, dark ruby color with a one-finger tan head. The head sticks around for a while before dissipating into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. Not much lacing, but I'm very impressed by the color.

Smells good. Big floral hop aroma up front that's joined by mild citrus and sweet malt smells. As the beer warms the sweet malt gets more robust, and near the end of the beer there's a faint smell of alcohol.

Tastes good. Big sweet malt taste followed shortly by a piney flavor and ending in a solid amount of bitterness. The sweet malt gains steam as the beer warms, but the bitterness is constant. There's just the mildest hint of the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very good thickness, and the carbonation is just intense enough. It goes down very smoothly.

Drinkability is great. I could easily drink a ton of these - it goes down so easily.

Overall this beer lives up to the name, but it's not too over the top. I'm looking forward to partaking in one of the supposed Oak Aged kegs of this. However, oak aged or not, this one is definitely worth your time and money.

EDIT: Four-pack from Green's on Ponce - This year's smells and tastes as though there are even more hops than previously, bumping both up a notch. Great job by Terrapin.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2009 05:19:45 | More by glid02
Photo of sendbeer


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

12-23-2012 05:22:16 | More by sendbeer
Photo of billab914


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Appearance is a dark amber,almost brown color. Smell is dominated by the citrus from the hops. The caramel maltiness really comes through in the taste followed by the hoppyness. Good mouthfeel and drinkability. I really enjoy this one and have purchased a few 4 packs of it now.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 01:47:27 | More by billab914
Photo of Brad007


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear red color with a thin head into my glass.

Aroma is full of malt and grassy hops, which is highly enticing.

Taste is smooth and full of sweet malt at first and then followed by grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is full of grassy hop and sweet malt flavors. Smooth. Leaves a very nice hop bite at the back of the throat. Not too overpowering either.

A very nice example of the style that due to the ABV, should be in its' own category. I can't quite tell what the hops are right off the bat but it's definitely one of the better examples of the style that I've had.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2008 05:43:04 | More by Brad007
Photo of dirtylou


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, shipped courtesy of Blackie

appearance: poured into large mouth wine glass...garnet-chestnut body, light beige head with nice bubbly lacing...obviously a dark and rich body for what is classified as a DIPA, but of course the brewer calls it an imperial red

smell: rich and syrupy aromas, molasses, bitter pine/citrus hops apparent in the background but not overpowering in the aroma, sweet and smooth caramel malt

taste: I like this, but im a little baffled on its 91 rating, especially classified as a dipa...flavour is caramel/molasses malt dominated in my opinion, caramel apple, bitter pine hops come through, light boozy nature...pretty good but not much of a dipa by my definition of the style

mouthfeel: smooth and rich, light bitterness

drinkability: good

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2006 02:14:11 | More by dirtylou
Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 839 ratings.