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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.

835 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 835
Reviews: 590
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 157
Gots: 35 | 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: 835 | Reviews: 590 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 06:08:04 | More by Crosling
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 03:19:34 | More by bkilpatr
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2008 20:47:49 | More by johnd513
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 13:52:21 | More by avalon07
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2008 15:09:05 | More by mnstorm99
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2008 12:53:09 | More by Tilley4
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

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2008 07:13:08 | More by Mauerhan
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2008 04:33:39 | More by superdedooperboy
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2008 01:41:37 | More by csmiley
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

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2008 03:49:39 | More by PatronWizard
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...

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2008 03:46:31 | More by gford217
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2008 01:12:47 | More by PittBeerGirl
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2008 01:07:44 | More by MSchae1017
Photo of daryk77

District of Columbia

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

12oz bottle

Looks good, deep red, nice head, thick an rich. Smells malty with sharp hopiness, you know what you are getting into. Taste is good, thick and rich with a big hop presence, just as expected. Mouthfeel is good, big body with malty tones and the big hop flavor and biterness, gives it a good mouthfeel but is a little overpowering for drinkablilty. Prob. a good thing because more than one or two of these might end a night early.

seek it out and try it!

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2008 00:47:13 | More by daryk77
Photo of Deus1138


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

Pours a clear, ruby red with a 1'4" of head.

Smell is citrus hops.

Taste is exceptional! It's called Big Hoppy Monster, but it's big all around. You've got a good malt backbone of caramel and toffee malts and some whopping grapefuity hops that stick with you. The hops definitely dominate, but this is very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Not a lot of carbonation, just the right amount.

Drinkability is excellent. Not one for a hop-phobe. But if you're looking for a hoppy beer with more to offer than just hoppiness, this is the beer for you.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2008 21:43:53 | More by Deus1138
Photo of chaz410

North Carolina

4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OH my god this is an amazing beer! First point of buisness, Thanks a million to Dustin from the Terrapin marketing team for letting us try this and also the 2007 version, I am honored to drink your beer!
OK lets just say this beer pours like a perfect beer. It is Dark, Amber, Light head that's defined but not overwhelming.
The nose is amazing! It is an amazingly sweet Hoppy smell without the bitter notes and a smooth underlining malty note that really lets the smell sustain for a while.
THe taste is unique to say the least. It has a high palate barlywine-like sweetness but really sends home the hops with a nice blend of malts so it hits all the wonderful notes of spicy hoppyness without venturing into the bitterness. The malts really round out the flavor. In the 07 version it is nearly impossible to say there's a "spike" of hops but more so a wonderful rise of spice with a good smooth rounding from the malt (fantastic).
The drinkability is for everyone but I would recommend it for anyone who is a decently well developed beer fan

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2008 03:06:27 | More by chaz410
Photo of Wetpaperbag


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

A- This is an interesting beer, it is very dark brown/red. I've had a few red ales and this has got to be the darkest and reddest one of the bunch. The head was there for a time being and then left fairly soon after the fact.

S- Nice citric hop smell, as well as a good malty smell. The hop smell is sweet and dry.

T- Great malt taste with a wonderful hop flavor accent. This is a solid well created beer. It has a nice malt sweetness as well as a great hop taste.

M- Feels good in the mouth, a bit thicker, but it works for this beer.

D- Very drinkable. I wish I had this beer in a regular line up.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2008 03:16:01 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

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

Rec'd in trade with JourdanUGA thanks for the hopportunity :)

Appearance: Dark garnet with a slightly beige head. A bit medicinal in appearance. Minimal head retention and lacing.

Smell: Oh this smells deliciously fun. Lots of malt presence with some pine sap, cherry, and grapefruit.

Taste: Medium body, slightly oily, extremely well balanced and smooth. Lots of sweet caramel coupled with a dash of hop bitterness. This red makes a heavy malt brew delicious for me.

Mouthfeel: I tiny bit on the syrupy side but a light syrup at that. Adequate carbonation and a medium body.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable for over 8% abv. This is a big red by all means and I'll be coming back to it often.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2008 20:38:02 | More by koopa
Photo of ckeegan04


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark red in color with a thick light brown head. Excellent retention and lacing.

S - Very sweet dark malt aroma. Very little hop presence, but this is the 2007 version on-tap so I would imagine the hops have faded a bit.

T - Very sweet, almost syrupy, up front. Dark caramel and candy sugar dominate. A herbal hopiness comes through mid-drink but is rather mild. Finishes sticky sweet. I would love to have this fresh to see how the hops balance the sweetness.

M/D - Medium to full bodied. Rather sticky but very easy drinking. Alcohol is very well masked making it very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2008 00:41:18 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of SiriusAth


4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage

Pours a dark ruby red with a gigantic 3 finger beige head that begins to fall not long after the pour but still manages to cling with some tenacity. Luxurious foamy, sticky and web-like lacing. Looks like heaven.

My nose is treated to a blast of grapefruit and pine sap hop decadence quickly followed by a wrecking ball of malt sugariness; brown sugar anyone? Oh those wonderful hopheads at Terrapin! Rich, resiny and resplendent.

The "enormous malt backbone" stated on the label leads the way from the first sip, great toffee and caramel flavors quickly checked by pink grapefruit and piney hop bitterness in the long and luxurious finish. The abv is extremely well hidden in this monstrously flavorful brew. I can't keep from drinking it faster than I should!

Body seems well done, deftly balanced between medium and heavy with good carbonation.

Big Hoppy Monster is a fantastic beer that is immensely delicious and easy to drink, especially considering its higher abv. A real treat and a must for hopheads like myself; let's hope this is around for a long time. Truly big, hoppy, and one hell of a monster!

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2008 06:13:58 | More by SiriusAth
Photo of changeup45


3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says Monster 2007 Beer Tour. Pours a dark brown, amber tinted color with a decent head that settles down a bit. There's still some frothy lacing. The aroma is fruity hops with a touch of candy and brown sugar. The flavor starts with a sugary malt note then turns to a dark fruity hop bite but it's somewhat mild. Imperial IPA? Let's just call it Hoppy Monster. Uhhh, nah, that still doesn't sound right. Little or semi-hoppy monster. The hops really don't bite hard here. Anyways, this beer really is pretty good and I enjoyed it but by no means is it a "Big Hoppy Monster".

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2008 02:11:05 | More by changeup45
Photo of CrellMoset


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

Bottle picked up from Brawley's Beverage on my way through Charlotte, NC. Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: A deep hazy brown beer with ruby highlights, a thick, creamy tan head, streamy, sticky lacing that's sheetlike in places. A thick and deep-looking beer.

Aroma: Sweet, thick brown sugar, molasses, and a few dark fruit notes. Sort of "one-dimensionally malty," if that makes sense, and a little weak - which is always a problem with Terrapin beers - but what's here is nice.

Taste: Toasted malt heavy and relatively dry - buttery maple syrup on borderline burnt French toast, light chocolate, and plenty of raisin/fig maltiness - with some good hop notes, including a strong, persistent bitterness that lasts through to the aftertaste. There's also a nice but light tart citric kick, some leafy vegetalness, and the faint feel of sweet alcohol. Very well done.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with active carbonation. Fine-bubbled and even. A little too full bodied, I think.

Drinkability: A darker "Imperial Amber" than many, and that's a good thing - lots of really nice malt notes make this an enjoyable and unique beer, but the hops keep everything in check. The alcohol is there as well but well-hidden and manageable. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 16:33:22 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of brdc


4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks markgugs for this 2007 version, small capped bottle poured into a pint glass.

Dark orange with crimson highlights, it has a foamy white head that dissipates rather quickly leaving little to no lacing; perhaps its only significant flaw.
Intense, rich aroma that starts fruity, floral and hoppy, rapidly evolving into sugary maltiness, with an abundance of caramel and brown sugar.
Full bodied, yet amazingly easy to drink for such a big beer, this is what I had in mind when I had imperial red ale; bitter and hoppy, but well balanced by a fairly sweet caramel maltiness.
An amazingly well balanced, easy to drink yet rich brew. Wish I had more.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2008 01:15:09 | More by brdc
Photo of saintwarrick

South Carolina

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

Had this several times before but never had a chance to jot down a review. Definitely a red ale as it pours a deep garnet with sort of a creamy off-white head. Aroma is heavy on toasted malts. Some chocolate and caramel notes in there mixed with fresh bread and a hint of some dark fruits like prunes and figs. Taste is sweet with the chocolaty notes showing through and the dark fruit also there. Starts out sweet but the hops show up in time to balance the beer. Finishes with a bite of bitterness and a long lingering sweetness.

A fine big brew from Terrapin but not the best I have had from this series and still a bit behind Red Rocket in this category.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2008 06:31:35 | More by saintwarrick
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - reddish caramel color, a thin light mocha cover. Thin lacing.

Aroma - deep fruity, DIPA-like aroma. Slightly boozy with notes of caramel.

Taste - sweet, caramel malts, mild fruitiness. The hops have a quick, citrusy bite just before some coffee notes hit at the swallow. The finish stays roasty and coffee-like.

Mouthfeel - thin, a decent and sturdy body, carbonation is average.

Drinkability - a dangerous drinkable red ale. Thanks to kkipple for bringing me one of these at DLD08.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2008 02:12:23 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 835 ratings.