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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.
very good

847 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 847
Reviews: 590
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 162
Gots: 40 | 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: 847 | Reviews: 590 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beckje01
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Reddish brown with a quarter inch of head and some light activity.

S- Semi sweet hops and a touch of floral quality.

T- The taste starts with some nice big hops but not really bitter a nice balance of the hops and the malt. The hops is the star but not overly aggressive or bitter this is a great way to really enjoy hops.

M- Great activity and thickness

D- A slow drinker but good.

beckje01, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Bottling.

According to the label, the beer is still contract-brewed for the Athens gang by Frederick Brewing in Frederick, MD. I thought that Terrapin did all their brewing in-house now? My bad. Oh well.

A 12-ounce bottle with a hot-rodding, night-riding Terp' on the label, poured into my Terrapin pint glass yields a bright cranberry-tinted amber body with two quick fingers of light beige foam atop. The cap deflates a little sooner than I'd like, but persists at a broken sheet that leaves wide, fine-bubbled bands of lacing on the glass.

The smell is crisp and fruity with vinous notes of juicy citrus and smashed overripe red apples.

The taste is sweetly red grape-juicy and lightly tart with a fair bit of palate-cooling, tummy-warming alcohol. The flavors are crisp and winey with citrus hop notes and a succulent, dilute-juicy finish. The only real bitterness appears alongside a light drying sensation buried deep in the aftertaste.

The drink is light-medium in body with fine carbonation. A very tasty, juicy red ale whose drinkability is limited only by the 8.3% abv.

cvstrickland, Nov 29, 2008
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.

Stinkypuss, Nov 29, 2008
Photo of BeerSox
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into wine glass (parents' house, no beer glasses).

Pours a slightly hazy red hue with a thin tan head. Although I believe the thinness is due to the dishwasher-washed glass (points are adjusted accordingly).

Plenty of citrusy hops with a little bit of a dark candy jolly-rancher like fruit aroma, almost like a barleywine.

Very sharp and spicy hops along with a little bit of a grainy finish. The hops give off plenty of grapefruit-like flavors. Full bodied. The feel is somewhat thick and syrupy. The alcohol adds a little bit of spice to the flavor.

This almost has the look, taste, and aroma of a barleywine, although with less alcohol. It's a tasty beer, and would pass well as a barleywine. The malts didn't come through as I thought they would. Try it for yourself, recommended.

BeerSox, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of CHADMC3
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A thin tan head tops the deep chestnut brown body of this excellent brew.

Deep, sweet dark fruit malt mask the alcohol presence that give way to a fresh hop presence.

Awesome sweet malt flavor and fresh hops combine to give this beer an excellent balance. Dark fruits most resemble plum, raisin, or something similar.

Medium to heavy carbonation, but a nice thin body accompany the unusual hop/malt balance.

What a great beer. The flavor and aroma have so much to offer and mask the generous alcohol content very well.

CHADMC3, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty dark colored body, closer to brown than amber really. Small off-white head that leaves a pretty good amount of lacing on the glass.

Floral and citrus hops in the nose. Malts come through also.

Hoppy up front and hoppy in the back. Bitter, pine, citrus. Big hops with a solid malt profile to back it up. Alcohol doesn't really come through at all. A nice amber.

Mouthfeel is a little oily.

This is a nicely drinkable beer for its ABV. I've been looking forward to trying this for awhile, and I wasn't disappointed.

Hojaminbag, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of Onenote81
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been looking forward to giving this seasonal a try! Pours a deep crimson with a tiny head. What little is there dissipates to an even thinner sheet. Some spotty lacing. Smells of cherries, watermelon, alcohol, and some citrus. Very smooth creamy mouthfeel masks the alcohol content quite well making this very drinkable. Nice and balanced taste. Some sweet malt, but a nice crisp smack of bitterness at the end. This is a great red ale, and a sure thing for the season. Pick some up if you can.

Onenote81, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear ruby hued amber with a thick light tan/creme head. Beautiful looking beer. Nose is a purely hoppy red kind of thing. Leafy, malty sweet. Beautiful smelling beer. Flavor is thick with malts. Slightly sweet amber tones. A slight bit leafy. Beautiful flavor. Feel is a bit robust with carbonation and the liquid is as it should be. This is a damn good beer. Damn good.

Thanks to raverjames for another ridonkulous extra. Good lord.

RblWthACoz, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of hwwty4
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sebletitje or jtrockchalk (both gave me this beer) for this one.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my New Belgium globe. This beer pours a beautiful red hued amber with a sticky 2 inch beige head that left some serious lacing. The aroma is hoppy up front. There are definite hints of both citrus and pine but there are also subtle notes of raisins and other dark fruits. The flavor is full frontal hops. This beer reminds me more of a nice DIPA then an American amber/red ale. The huge hop presence really out weighs any of the amber qualities that the beer might have. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a nice oily feeling. I think this is a great beer but rather misbranded. If I were reviewing this to style I probably would have to lower the scores because it really reminds me more of a DIPA then an American Amber.

hwwty4, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of tmoneyba
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from World Of Beer.

Poured clear dark brown color with an average frothy off-white head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy sour citrus hoppy and light malt aroma. Medium body with a slick texture and flat carbonation. Moderate to heavy bittersweet flavor with a moderate to heavy bittersweet finish of medium to long duration.

Very good balanced brew.

tmoneyba, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of Poser
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Darker pour than I expected. Deep amber with decent top. Aroma is pine and citrus. Taste is earthy malt sweetness up front. Obviously a bitter hop finish. Texture is sticky like caramelized brown sugar. Very nice... the-caramelized-brown-sugar-ness is a bit strange for my tastes, but I respect what they're trying to do.

Poser, Nov 16, 2008
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased in Raleigh, $3. This beer was much darker than expected, more brown than amber. The smell and taste were also more barleywine than amber ale or DIPA or whatever it says on the label. I suppose there was a huge malt bill balancing the large amount of hops used on this, and the result was more similar to Bigfoot or other hoppy barleywines than it was to an amber ale (even a hopped up amber ale). I guess I'm in the minority that didn't care for this beer too much.

TurdFurgison, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of Crosling
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby colored ale, with a large, long lasting head. C Hop, resiny hop nose with complimentary notes of caramel and toffee from the malts. Flavor has some depth to it, with a nice balance of caramel-like malts and resiny, super citrus-like hops. This is a pretty nice ale.

Crosling, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of bkilpatr
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 11/14/08.

Pours a deep copper-mahogany color with a thin half-finger of light-tan head. Aroma is full of piny hops and sweet toasted malt.

Taste is similar to the aroma. Very malty and sweet up front with caramel, and slightly sweet malt biscuit. That is followed by a bitter rush of piny and floral hops. Feel is medium-full body with ample carbonation. The finish is fairly dry and has a lingering hop aftertaste. Drinkability is pretty good. The alcohol is nowhere to be found, and it's really smooth going down.

Overall, pretty good. I'm not usually a fan of hoppy amber ales, but this one has enough malt to keep it feeling like an amber.

bkilpatr, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of johnd513
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes to MSchae1017 for this one!
This beer pours a nice reddish copper color wiht a small head that quickly disappears. Smells sweet and is nice and hoppy with grapefruit and other citrus flavors. The taste of this beer is sweet and hoppy with some grapefruit and pine flavors and alcohol at the finish. The mouthfeel has medium body and carbination and is a tad oily. Overall this beer is quite tasty and very drinkable. Drinkability is good. I could have a few of these but the high abv catches up to you. I am glad to have had the oppurtunity to try this.

johnd513, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of avalon07
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a reddish hue and a fairly clear consistency. There was a good half inch of foamy, long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: The hops dominated the smell, though you do get malt and some citrus mixed in as well.

T: Lots of hops, some toasted malt and citrus flavor. Well balanced and packs a bit of a punch.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Full-bodied.

D: On the whole, this is a tasty, well-made beer. It has lots of character and is very drinkable.

avalon07, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of mnstorm99
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice ruby copper por, with a nice head that stays for a little while and laces real nice.
Aroma is mostly malt, and with this amount of hops I would expect a little more of the citrus aroma from the hops.
Taste is real nice, biscuit malts stand out, but there is a nice malt sweetness to round out a great hop flavor from citrus to spicy notes.
Mouthfeel is nice and full, almost creamy and very smooth. Easy to drink (Imperial?) red ale, and the alchohol is very nice and subtle.

mnstorm99, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of Tilley4
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one more killer ass seasonal from the folks at Terrapin Brewing...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful....

That describes how the Monster looks with its reddish copper appearance and huge 3 finger head...

Sharp grapefruity hop aroma comes rolling out of the glass at me...smells nice and hoppy and bitter...that being said, there's also a certain malty backbone there that seems to balance this dude nicely...

Yep, its a hoppy monster alright. Not overly so, but enough that it satisfies the hophead in me...its a wonderful Imperial Red with its balance as well...

I'm liking this brew a lot....a whole lot.

Tilley4, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of Mauerhan
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks tayner.

pours a nice rich deep red. for a bottle from 07 it has a great amount of head. the one finger light tan head stays nicely for a few minutes then settles to a slight ring around the glass. a small amount of lacing clings to the side of my glass like it has a problem with something.

smell is sweet and rich. full of roasted malts. caramel, not a ton of hops. with a name like big hoppy monster i expected to be smacked in the face. im sure that part of that has to do with the fact that i have a cellared bottle.

taste is great. sweet rich and full. carmel is present, with lots of roasted malts.

mouth is sweet and smooth. easy to drink. especially as it reaches the mid fifties. good beer. yay

Mauerhan, Nov 03, 2008
Photo of superdedooperboy
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is deep ruby-chestnut in color; forms a small caramel-colored creamy head that dissipates to a thin cap and leaves a decent amount of cling on the glass.

Nose is full of fruity, grapefruit-citrus notes. Somewhat floral; amazingly inviting in nature. Makes you want to dive in and guzzle it all down.

Medium-full body and nicely carbonated. Full of bright, delicious, citrusy and fruity hop flavor and bitterness, with notes of grapefruit and a slight caramel malt backbone, and a noticeable warming of alcohol as the brew warms up a bit. Finishes fairly bitter and dry.

Drinkability is hindered by the alcohol flavors that form as the beer warms a bit, but the dry, bitter finish leaves a craving for another swig.

Overall, this is one hell of a brew, both balanced and delicious in aroma and taste. My home state of Georgia has been slow to join in on the craft brew revolution, but it's wonderful to see that those few craft breweries that have emerged aren't afraid to push the boundaries and are able to pump out such extraordinary brews.

superdedooperboy, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of csmiley
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to stopbarking for sending this one to me.

A - Pours a deep brownish red. Head is slow to rise and ends up at about a quarter inch. It sticks around for a couple minutes. Some lace remains but not too much.

S - Caramel and some bitter hops really dominate the aroma. Some alcohol shows up midway. A distant background holds notes of bread crust. Stays fairly light in the aroma department.

T - A big dose of caramel hits the palate first. That is quickly followed by some hop fruitiness - mostly grapefruit. Dark bread and butterscotch comes in midway and fades pretty quick. Finishes off with some dried fruit (cherry and raspberry) and alcohol.

M - On the fuller side of medium bodied with a decent level of carbonation. Finish is interesting. There is a high level of sweetness that gets balanced by the dry bitterness of the hops.

D - Drinkability is good. Not great, but still good. The high abv does place a fairly low limit on how many can be consumed. All in all a good attempt at a hopped up red ale. I would have this one again.

csmiley, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of PatronWizard
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice deep, deep burgnady. Cute head of dirty white pillows. I like the looks.

Smells like what I would call 'balanced.' Hops, malts, maybe a cherry scent. Very good.

I'm fairly impressed. The hop presence isn't exactly IN the taste so much as you can feel it on the roof of your mouth. On second thought, there's more hop flavor than I thought. It's just that out here on the west coast when a beer uses a form of the word hop in the title, it will burn your ass. Nontheless, this is a very tasty brew. I love a hopped-up amber. I usually don't like the malts to put up a fight, but this one works out awesome.

I was only recently introduced to Terrapin, through the generosity of a few good traders, and they have quickly gained my respect.

Overall: Daddy's happy

PatronWizard, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of gford217
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally get around to rating this local gem.

Pours a deep copper with a short-lived tan head that leaves bit of lacing.

The aroma has a big pine hops kick up front but immediately gives way to a big sweet caramel malt backbone. Interesting nose.

The taste is just as interesting and complex as the aroma. The floral hops and sweet caramel malts fight for dominance in the taste - pine and caramel in a death match for the benefit of my tongue...nice. Great taste.

The mouthfeel is sticky with hops and the malt sweetness with good carbonation.

I've been drinking this for years and have just now gotten around to reviewing it, but this is great, great stuff. I'm going to stock my fridge right now...

gford217, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

received this as an awesome extra in my trade with CrellMoset. Thank you!

A- Body is a beautiful dark cherry red hue and is perfectly transparent. Thin fizzy tan head fades immediately after the pour to a thin collar-which retains well and leaves behind no lacing in the glass.

S-Nose is light and very spicy. What comes through is a balance of spicy hops and sweet caramel malt.

T-Flavor is mostly faint caramel malt and a hint of spicy and grapefruit hops upfront. The spiciness of the hops really comes through in the finish with a hint of pine in the back of the throat, and a faint minimal bitterness. Hints of spiciness linger.

M- Medium carbonation and medium weight body, somewhat oily.

D- This beer is awesome. I haven't had a beer with this much of an accent on spicy hop flavor without the generally associated bitterness. Imperial Reds are growing on me and I am finding more and more that I really like. ABV is undetectable in this also. Not quite Nugget Nectar or Winter Yulesmith-but definately one of my favorite red ales. Thanks again to CrellMoset for the opportunity to try this.

PittBeerGirl, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of MSchae1017
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from a bottle

The beer pours a deep amber with a good sized tan head that fades after a while but leaves a good film the whole way down that laces nicely. The smell is a great mixture of citrusy and piney hops aromas and some malt aromas that are hinting at dark berry fruits (maybe cherries), caramel, and honey. The taste hits you first with the flavor and bitterness of the hops and then finishes out with the malty flavor again with caramel, honey, and fruit. The mouthfeel has a good thickness and a good carbonation and not too dry. Overall, a highly drinkable beer that is in perfect balance.

MSchae1017, Oct 23, 2008
Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
89 out of 100 based on 847 ratings.