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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.

854 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 854
Reviews: 590
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 164
Gots: 42 | 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: 854 | Reviews: 590 | Display Reviews Only:
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

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.

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.

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

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...

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.

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.

Photo of daryk77
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!

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.

Photo of chaz410
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

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.

Photo of koopa
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.

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.

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!

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".

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.

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.

Photo of saintwarrick
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.

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.

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

Overall a very well crafted beer.
A: Pours a deep rich red color that almost looks brown. The head is very small and leaves very little lace

S: Very hopy at first, but then transitions into malty and sweet with a lingering smell of alcohol thruout

T: hoppy at first, then the malts and caramel comes out...very interesting...also, alcohol can be detected however it does not necessarily take away from the beer

MF: Very clean and surprisingly smooth

D: Good for a beer of this ABV

This beer really grows on you, and as the beer warms, the malts and caramel become much more apparent, and each degree results in a different taste

Photo of Murchmac
3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to ncvbc for this brew.

Looks Great, Dark reds, deep, foam which disappears.

Immediately smells of caramel and toasted breads! Love it already, from two feet away.

Tastes bready, spicy, malty, not much hops left now. Its a 2007 vintatge though. It must have been a a great beer in its day. Now it kinda tastes like a malty, alcohol mess.

Bitter aftertaste, If this were a barleywine it would pass though.

The 2007 version of this beer is like Meg Ryan, pretty in it's prime, scary looking now.

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

Pours dark amber, red in the light. A thin tan head forms and disappears quickly.

Aroma is pretty nice. A little citrus hop and some sweet caramel.

Taste is ok, a little hop bitterness with some caramel notes.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability is moderate. Alcohol is moderate, and flavors are alright making this beer fairly easy to consume.

Photo of tmitch75
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to DHermit for trading me this bad boy.

Cloudy brown color, like a Newcastle, with a thin tannish head that drops quickly.

Bready malt aroma with toffe and a mildly floral hint of hops.

toffe flavor with cinnamon raisin toast and a little maple. Hops are pretty sharp with a floral and fruity bite.

Good body, a bit over medium with good carbonation.

A very tasty kick in the tongue. Very good stuff, I'd love to try it fresh. Label said "2007 vintage" and "Best if enjoyed by VINTAGE07FX", whatever that means.

Tasted 5/17/08.

Photo of DontCallMeSurly
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After a few months wait I am finally getting around to this one. This was received via the 80's BIF. Thanks for the chance Walter!

This beer is listed as an amber but as I pour it into a Berkshire pint glass the color reminds me more of a ruby or a mahogany instead and it looks so enticing. There isn't much foam on this, maybe a thin layer that settles after the pour. After a few minutes time all the foam subsides and a very thin ring coats the outside rim of the glass. To say that this beer smells sweet is a vast understatement! There is a very prominent character of crystal malt in addition to caramel and bread notes. I was expecting the hops to dominate the profile yet instead they seem non-existent. I'm not sure how old this particular bottle is so maybe the hops aroma wore off. With the first sip of this beer I fell in love with the huge malt flavor. Somewhere in the middle there is a very delicious flavor of dark fruits and a finish of a sweet alcohol. This kind of reminds me of a weaker BSDA. The mouthfeel is very creamy and full with a moderately low amount of carbonation. Very drinkable as I did not want it to end. This was definitely worth the wait!

I really need to find more of this beer, it's excellent!

Photo of macster
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a handsome deep burgundy-brown color. Pour creates a fairly thin 1/2" beige colored head. Very little retention is noted other than a few isolated splotches of foam. No lacing at all.

Aroma profile is rich and pleasant, but certainly not dominated by the hops. Considering the name of this beer one would conclude that something weird is going on here. This is no "hop monster." Nose is quite nicely balanced with smells of upfront toasted malts and bread, toffee snd caramel. Floating in the backgoround are some subdued hoppy notes of orange, grapefruit rind, herb and spice.

Palate is moderately full, smooth and creamy with just a touch of tingly carbonation.

The taste seems to serve up more of the hops than the aroma. Starts off with the sweet toasted malts and caramel, but quickly transforms to a firm herbal/citrus hop taste with a clean, crisp bitter hop finish. The 8.3% alcohol serves to tame the sweetness and warms the finish nicely.

Goes down easily, but definitely a sipper. Not a "big, hoppy monster" so to speak, but still a very tasty brew

Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 854 ratings.