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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.

846 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 846
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: 846 | Reviews: 590 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Deus1138, Oct 19, 2008
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

chaz410, Oct 15, 2008
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.

Wetpaperbag, Oct 06, 2008
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.

koopa, Sep 28, 2008
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.

ckeegan04, Sep 28, 2008
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!

SiriusAth, Aug 29, 2008
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".

changeup45, Aug 27, 2008
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.

CrellMoset, Aug 24, 2008
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.

brdc, Aug 20, 2008
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.

saintwarrick, Aug 14, 2008
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.

brewdlyhooked13, Jul 31, 2008
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

scottyshades, Jul 06, 2008
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.

Murchmac, Jun 27, 2008
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.

Goliath, Jun 23, 2008
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.

tmitch75, Jun 23, 2008
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!

DontCallMeSurly, Jun 17, 2008
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

macster, Jun 01, 2008
Photo of merlin48
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 bottle pours a hazy dark coppery brown with a thick beige head that scatters a lot of patchy lace on the glass.

Aroma is bold. Lots of bready malts exude notes of toffee and molasses. All kinds of fruity esters going on. Orange and pineapple hints are underneath.

Mouthfeel is almost chewy and close to full bodied. Low medium carbonation.

Taste is complex. Chewy caramel and toffee are prevalent all the way through. Pineapple marmalade hints open the fruit profile, followed quickly by orange and lemon. Hop bitterness somehow manages to balance out the huge malt bill.

Very satisfying. Any more maltiness and this might be cloying. I'd love to try a new bottle and see how fresher hops come through here.

merlin48, May 10, 2008
Photo of Viggo
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!

Viggo, May 07, 2008
Photo of mhewes
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A : Pours a reddish-brown with a decent head

S : Strong malt smell, not much hops

T : Lots of malt. Has a hoppy finish with the alcohol starting to show through

M : Smooth with really good carbonation

D : I could drink lots of it but not in the same night.

mhewes, May 06, 2008
Photo of Atron67
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- poured a clear nearly opaque brown with a strong red hue inder light. decent head ontop with a light brown head.

S- for a beer called big hoppy monster there is a great biscuit scent in a huge maltyness. strong crystal malt charachter along with it. the hops are laid back but they keep the scent from getting sweet and

T- big malty character all over. strong biscuit charachter all over with a nice complexity with it. the hops arent really that strong and not what i was expecting but it is still really tasty.

M- medium carbonation. lingering maltiness on the tongue

D- pretty damn delicious

Atron67, May 04, 2008
Photo of dhd1491
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown-red and clear. Almost no head after a couple of minutes. Big, powerful thick taste (getting a little too warm in Georgia for this brew). Good balance between sour hops and roasted malts. Buttery smoke lingering. Exceptionally smooth and drinkable for such a powerful ale. Not as viscous and overpowering as a stout, but with some of the same big flavors and heavy mouthfeel. If I have one complaint, it's that the name led me to expect more hops flavor. The predominant tastes are caramelized malt and smoke.

dhd1491, May 02, 2008
Photo of FleeVT
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle poured into a pint.

A: Beautiful medium to dark brown like an empty 12 ouncer with a tan head that sticks to the glass.

S: One hell of a nose on this bad boy; full of both hops and malts. The malts really stick out with a caramel sweetness. There is a bit of dark berries floating around in there too.

T/M: A bit heavier than I expected. This is a rich medium to heavy bodies ale with a moderate carbonation. It sticks to the sides of your mouth. Hops dominate the palate with a roasted, toasted malt flavor in the back. The hops dominate the finish and with citrus and pine hints.

D: Great brew! Pair with anything that demands a big flavored beer.

FleeVT, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of deepsouth
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer poured a cloudy red color into my oversized wine glass. there was a few large bubbles in the glass and a bit of patchy head.

this beer smells sweet. i smell citrusy hops, but it actually detect more sweetness than i thought i would. this smells promising.

the taste is fantastic to me. i'm not really a fan of red ales traditionally, but this one tastes good. it's peppery and the hop character is not one i'm familiar with, but it agrees with me. as the beer warms, the higer abv begins to show. you can tell this beer has eight plus percent. it actually tastes like it could be higher.

the mouthfeel explodes with carbonation, which i actually didn't expect, yet it almost finishes wine-like. nice trick.

overall, this beer is drinkable, but it's a sipper and honestly, i think i could only drink one once in a while. which means.... if i could get this beer, i would on a semi-regular basis. another nice offering from terrapin. i'm never disappointed with their offerings.

deepsouth, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received from NCSUdo in Week2 Powerball. Thank you!

Pours a very dark copper color with deep ruby accents when held to the light. A very thin layer of off-white head leaves spotty lacing on the walls of my pint glass. The is extremely malt dominated with heavy scents of dark fruits (figs, plums, and raisins) with only a slight pine scent rushing to the nose. It is not as hop dominated as I thought, but I am assuming the age on this beer is contributing to that. I taste the hops more upfront, but is still rather subtle. The hop profile is a combination of pine and light citrus fruit that is almost earthy with a mineral water quality to it. The malt however steps up the plate and takes over where the hop profile falls flat. The malt tastes of caramelized soaked doughy uncooked bread and sweet toffee. The malt profile is very tasty, but doesn't have much zing without the hops. The mouthfeel is creamy with low carbonation. I certainly would drink this beer again, but it would have to available locally.

TheodorHerzl, Apr 16, 2008
Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 846 ratings.