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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.

851 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 851
Reviews: 590
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 163
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: 851 | Reviews: 590 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hops4me
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was really looking forward to this one as I liked their rye pale ale. In the glass it was a deep opaque amber to red color with little "bits" in suspension. A cream colored head quickly fell leaving behind a ring of lace in its place. Smells of grapefruit and pine. Thick chewy full body. Big malt fruitiness with residual toffee sweetness. Nice citrus and earthy hop bitterness and flavor. This is a very good beer. As other reviewers have stated this is not a DIPA as the hops do not attack the senses quite like DIPAs do. Drinkability is high and I will likely buy a few more before they disappear.

hops4me, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of ruleof72
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours nice with a very dark reddish caramel color and leaves a very creamy head. Good lacing.

Smells of a pine forest with hints of lemon and orange.

Taste is a whollop of hop flavor followed up very quickly with the sweet fully toasted malt flavor

Mouthfeel is full bodied with lighter carbonation

Drinkability is very good but the high abv forces moderation, at least if you have to do something the next day.

This is an excellent beer and I am proud to say it is made by a local company. Very good example of strong red ale.

ruleof72, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of goindownsouth
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber, almost crimson in colour. Thick and luscious, creamy white head atop this brew. Little lasting power, but left a nice lacing. Huge aromas of pine and hop essences, as well as citrus, not the least of which was grapefruit. Thick and rich in the sinuses. Beautiful. Bitter on the palate, and lovely at that. Big whallop of flavor balance with the malt and hops. Very, very full bodied, indeed. This is one big, and I mean BIG beer...

An incredible find, to be sure. I can only hope that this stuff makes its way up to Pennsylvania sooner rather than later.

Life is good.

goindownsouth, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy dark brown amber with red tones and a full half finger tan head that melts to a top coating ring of sticky lacing.
Aromas of a big red....with dark candied fruit like figs and sweet sugar.
Thick and creamy mouthfeel from the solid fine carbonation and thick candied malts.
Tastes of sugary dark candied fruit followed quickly with citrus peel hops.
Unnoticed alcohol but aftertaste remains sticky of the dark fruit.
Definately an Imperial Red....well balanced between the sweetness of the malts and bitterness of the hops. Delightful.
Definately NOT a DIPA...if you buy this expecting a DIPA you will be disappointed. If you love big reds like I do, you will savor every sip.
Just a tad too sweet for my taste, however.
Thanks Blitz134 for this trade.

IntriqKen, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of daliandragon
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting reading the varying opinions on the site about this beer; from huge malt to huge hops. Is it possible that this brew contains both? One thing it does posess is a gorgeous sticky tan head with nice retention power. This jeweled crown sits on top of an equally attractive mahogany body (is this a DIPA or an imperial red as the label claims, anyway?). Nose is malty but balanced and drenched in alcohol, almost reminiscent of port or another fruit wine.

Wow, it does contain both, although the hops generally carry the day. This is a brew with a lot of flavor although the alcohol can be a bit overpowering. Still, the hops are tasty, not overly bitter. I like this beer a lot, although more than a few would be too many by a long shot. Certainly a monster as advertised, and good effort from Terrapin to push the envelope without losing sight of the objective: good beer.

daliandragon, Oct 30, 2006
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

dirtylou, Oct 27, 2006
Photo of jwc215
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish-brown with a thin, lasting head.

The smell is of floral citrus with roasted grain and a hint of toffee.

The taste is of citrusy orange peel and grapefruit immediately supported by a thick, rich malt. Sweet brown sugar and caramel cut into the bitterness, but leave the citrus taste in control. Very balanced for the style, while clearly remaining a double IPA. The chewy, citrusy hops remain solidly pronounced, but a good malt backbone gives it a nice body and complex flavors.

It feels creamy, rich and chewy. The body remains steadfast. Thick, yet incredibly smooth. Just the right amount of carbonation to make it glide along the tongue, leaving the body intact and plenty of flavors in the mouth.

Incredibly drinkable, almost too much so, as the undetectable alcohol can creep in. Unfortunately, I only had this one or I would have easily been tempted to grab more. A smooth, delicious drink to say the least.

Thanks to SilentSabre for sending me this enjoyable brew!

jwc215, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of matdot
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whoa is right with this one. This is a "big" brew in my opinion, hence its name.

Pours a thick creamy head and has a dark brown color with hints of amber. The taste ha, thick hops in here. Think of biting into a big juicy fruit. Terrapin comes out strong with this seasonal. Taste of alcohol is well hidden, but will creap up on you in a hurry.

I have found this most of the year for some reason. I guess they distributed alot of it in the Atlanta area.

matdot, Oct 24, 2006
Photo of kimcgolf
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

WHOA!!! They aren’t kdding about the hops. This came from the tap with a reddish brown color with off-white head that lingered long and produced good lacing. Extremely hoppy aroma, and the taste is more of the same: bitter hops, almost to the point that they overwhelm any other real flavor. Palate was dry and bitter, as expected. I am a big fan of hopped up beers, and really enjoyed this, but must admit that this even pushed my upper hop limit. Good job, boys from Athens!!

kimcgolf, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of Onibubba
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2006 Monsters of Beer Tour. Had this in a side by side with DFH 90 Minute. A good looking amber DIPA with little to no head. Aroma is knock you out of the park citrusy hops. Nearly overpowering. This is also evident in the taste. There is some malt in there, but not nearly enough to tame this. Nice carbonation. This is a bit harsh going down. Alcohol is evident and the hops burn.

Not a bad beer at all, but a bit of an ass kicker. I'm not sure I'd really want to drink more than one of these a night. If you like a DIPA with a serious hop bite, you may want to take a look at this one.

Onibubba, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of jackorain
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a pint of this at Tacomac in Alpharetta, GA. Jessica the bartender poured it correctly.

A-It is a beautifully dark amber, almost brown with a 3/8 inch head that fell quickly to nearly nothing. There was minimal lacing. The quickly dissapating head and the lack of lacing is what held this very attractive beer from being a 5.0 in this category

S- Carmel and roasted malt hits 1st, citrus and green hops jump out next. Howeveer, the aroma overall is not that strong.

T- Amzingly balanced. The biscuity, carmel and molases malts hit up front immediately and linger long enough for one to think "This beer is named wrong it should be Big Malty Monster", Then POW!, out come this rush of hops that just push back the huge malt profile without mercy. The finish here is all hops, pine and citrus with the green hanging around the longest after eah sip. This is really good stuff.

M-Creamy and oily from the hops, real nice carbonation.

D-very good drinkability, high ABV prevents hihger scor here.

jackorain, Oct 13, 2006
Photo of athensbeermaster
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First of all this beer is classified wrong on this site. Hoppy monster is a red Imperial ale. say's so on the 4 pk in big letters! The other wrong about this year's version is where's the hops? They should of called it the malty monster. Last year was great big hoppy fun.
This year the color was much darker the carbonation was less and the maltiness over shadows the hops. Besides all the pitfalls this beer still has a great flavor and nice smoky finish. I tried my first sample out of the btl. Then I tried it on tap to see if any more hops might jump out. on draft it had a little more head than the btl. but the malts still dominated the mix. I guess I was so disapointed because last year was so good. After talking to some other freinds they felt the same about the change in this years version. To spike hope next year's will be more hoppy.

athensbeermaster, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a reddish-brown-rust colored pint glass from my kegerator. Fill date of September 20th, 2006 – just 16 days old.

½ inch head with very heavy lacing and a spicy-citrus smell. The first taste, I was surprised how it tasted differently from last year’s version. Was it me or my recollections? At first, I though it was less hoppy. I also do not remember it being so brown. After a few sips, I have come to the conclusion it is just as hoppy as 2005, but 2006 appears to have more malt and thus a more balanced beer. Once I came to that realization I could enjoy BHM for what it is…a truly awesome Monster beer!

Spike and John have done it again…Terrapin ROCKS!

ATLbeerDog, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of coldchill
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly cloudy deep red with a slight, tan head. Cloudiness cleared up quickly. Contrary to the other reviews here, I did not find this beer significantly hoppy. It is a very nice, big, red ale with understated sweetness and adequate maltiness. I really expected much more hoppiness. While it wasn't what I expected, It is a tasty, very drinkable beer, particularly for 8% ABV.

coldchill, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of Backer2004
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Definitely looking forward to this one since I heard Terrapin was distributing in NC. Found this one for about $2.50 at a local BP. Just picked up one, but need to get a whole bunch more because this one SHOULD be cellared. Wow, the hops was just too much for me. Very fresh and hot, this one could mellow out a bunch, but hey, it is called Big Hoppy Monster. A nice beer that i'd like to get to know better.

Backer2004, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of SilentSabre
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Certainly better than average, and leaps and bounds better than their summer seasonal "Imperial Pilsner". Poured a lovely red bronze with a big fluffy light caramel coloured head that stayed around for quite long time. A beautiful pour, this one.
Smell was big citrus / pine resin hops with a sweet maltiness hiding in the background.
Taste was big hops, as the name suggests, but what was a bit surprising to me, was the big malt that followed. It seems that the powerful citrus hops makes a quick appearance, then subsides to a nice caramel maltiness for only a split second, when the pine resin like hops come back, causing this to finish with a pleasant bitterness. Mouthfeel is very nice. Smooth and full bodied.
Overall, I'm certainly glad I tried this, and I must say, I did in fact enjoy this. I will, however, probably include at least 2 of the remainders from my 4pk in my next trade.
Another nice one from Terrapin..

SilentSabre, Oct 03, 2006
Photo of AmorousAngel
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 Monster Tour

Poured dark, cloudy, reddish brown with a small, off-white head. Cloudiness cleared up quickly.

Hoppy aroma with definite floral smell coming through.

The dominant taste is the hops, but there is also malt and sweetness to keep them from being overwhelming.

Medium-bodied and smooth, with very little carbonation.

I normally prefer more malty beers, but this one could win me over.

AmorousAngel, Oct 03, 2006
Photo of WAP
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep red with a thick, sticky, off-white head. Looks very inviting. First smell is hop oil - floral and a little piney, with a caramel sweet malt backing.

Taste and mouthfeel are fantastic -- heavy caramel and biscuit malt profile are perfect counterpoint to big hop presence. The finish is delightfully bitter and each sip begs the next.

This is a surprisingly drinkable brew given the intense flavors and high ABV, but every time I have had one I have felt compelled to open a second.

WAP, Sep 28, 2006
Photo of WeisGuy
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a - deep dark brown, hazy, decent sized off-white head with moderate retention, slight lacing

s - good mix of piney hops and malt, slight alcohol scent

t - lots of sweet maltiness up front, evolves into a somewhat strong bitter hoppiness, finish is sweet, very different from any other DIPA I've had

m - good deal of carbonation, medium-bodied, slightly dry finish

d - very drinkable, I had three bottles the other night while watching a football game and probably could have kept on going (I'm glad I didn't)

Very solid beer here from Terrapin. Easy drinking and has a good depth of flavor, this definitely is not a one-dimensional hop-bomb.

WeisGuy, Sep 28, 2006
Photo of silver0rlead
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A vigorous pour yields and amber beer with a dense tan head that leaves impressive lacing on the glass. The aroma has some big citrusy, resiny and floral hops upfront, along with some serious caramel sweetness, a slight roastiness and some alcohol. The flavor is similar to the aroma, with big hops upfront (citrus, pine and grass), along with a caramel sweetness, some roastiness, toffee, vanilla and a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel was moderate and drinkability was way better than expected, with little alcohol noticeable. An excellent beer from Terrapin, worlds better than the imperial pilsner.

silver0rlead, Sep 25, 2006
Photo of wedge
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Attractive, clear crimson in color with fine, even carbonation - creamy, milky off-white head leaves some irregular webby lacing. Smells dank and deliciously hoppy...oh yeah, its got that great DIPA smell. Citrusy, flowery, piney...leans mostly toward the fruity hops. Tasting it, this seems to have more balance in the flavor. Loads of big, juicy, resinous hops like the smell, but with a hefty brown-sugary sweet malt firmness. The result is a big, sticky, hoppy treat. Nice medium-full mouthfeel is solidly bitter.

This is fantastic stuff...certainly among the top-notch DIPAs. This is the real deal.

Appropriate for review # 300!

wedge, Sep 25, 2006
Photo of tastybeer
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Body is a deep red with mahogany tones. Tantalizing ruby red glow and soapy soft vanilla pudding colored head. Great lasting retention and sticky, endlessly clinging lace. Looking good. As I pour it, delightful hops already flood my nose. Sticky pine resin and citrus are held together by substantial smooth, sweet biscuity and caramel malts. Very well blended. The full elongated maltiness creates a solid layer for this hop extravaganza. Very yummy and layered. Mouthfeel is fantastic. Velvety smooth, softly coating, with light chewiness. Always good when you think you're eating beer instead of drinking it... The fullish medium body is not real thick but I find myself constantly swirling it around. A pleasure to drink.

This will enter my fridge again someday.

tastybeer, Sep 25, 2006
Photo of gbarron
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 edition, from a 12 oz. bottle.

A - dark reddish brown, a little hazy. Head is off white/tan, puddling with a fine ring. Lacing is good, retention good.

S - great, strong fresh hop aroma. Sweet grapefruit, pine, pineapple hop aroma. Smells like a pine cone backed up by candy sugar, sweet malt. Explosion of hops when you crack it open.

T - sweet, tangy rich malt balanced out by very assertive hop presence. Lots of alcohol warming. Malt flavors are sugar, caramel, toffee. Hop flavor and bitterness balance out malt sweetness fairly well. Hop flavors of grapefruit, citrus, pine, lemon peel. Very big, complex flavor profile of sweet and bitter.

M - tangy, slightly sticky mouthfeel. Medium/full bodied. Carbonation is average.

D - tasty beer, a little too big to drink many of.

gbarron, Sep 25, 2006
Photo of Ivanthehero
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I somehow totally missed out on the 2005 version of BHM even thought I live in Athens and look for new beers constantly. Guess I got a little carried away on a belgian kick. I am glad I didn't miss this years offering(how could I with all the hype).

Appearance-a beautiful reddish amber, makes you exited just looking at it.

Smell- Spicey, I smell cinnamon, dark fruits and cotton candy. Alcahol is quite present as well.

Taste-Great balance between twangy taste bud tingling hops and smooth malty sweetness. Quite sweet with a hint of cherries. Again, the alcahol definatly makes itself known.

Mouthfeel- as a I move it around in my mouth tiny creamy bubbles explode on my tongue and the beer has a certain thickness to it.

Dr-Ab- Not as drinkable as other DIPA's I have had, but thats just fine. There are a lot of flavors happening and a lot of sensations going on that need to be taken in slowly.

Highly recommended.

Ivanthehero, Sep 25, 2006
Photo of Neehan
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber that is bright and bubbly with minimal head that remains to make a nice lacing around the glass. It turns a bright ruby red when the light catches it. The smell is exceptional of the balanced hops and it allures you into begin tasting it. The taste is also very smooth with a wonderful balance of sweet and bitter with a crisp aftertaste of more hops. The mouthfeel is also well balanced with carbonation and flavorful spices. A drinkable beer, I could definitely have another, not too sure about after that... but probably. An exceptional beer.

Neehan, Sep 23, 2006
Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 851 ratings.