Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster - Terrapin Beer Company

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Terrapin Big Hoppy MonsterTerrapin Big Hoppy Monster

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855 Ratings

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Ratings: 855
Reviews: 590
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 164
Gots: 43 | 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: 855 | Reviews: 590 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of blackie
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: The pour yields a 0.5" dark khaki head that gradually recedes. The beer looks brown, but to me seems like a deep, rich red with some brown tones. The label hails it as an Imperial Red Ale, so that's how I'll review it.

smell: Rich red, toffee, and toasted malts upfront with a backing of big, muddy hops and a touch of ethanol. I get a hint of creamy, sugary vanilla, not unlike the cream of a Cadbury egg....though very subtle. Notes of dark cherries in syrup and dark chocolate are found. Smells solid and balanced, yet nice and rich.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a smooth, low medium. The body is also smooth, silky on the tongue and pretty heavy in weight.

taste: Definately has flavors of a red ale, only jacked up. Rich toffee malts with lighter notes of roasted and toasted malts. There's an earthy flavor as well. Big dull hop flavor with a big, astringent bitterness that increases in strength after the swallow, lingering for a very long time with some dark grainy flavors.

drinkability: Easy to drink, and a nice beer. The alcohol is very well hidden.

4-pack from Whole Foods Raleigh...a best by date of 06407 is printed on the label

Photo of rajendra82
4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The 2006 version reviewed on the day of the release. I did not realized how much I missed this. Rich, deep red color, and a decent head give this beer a stately apperance. The smell is mild for a DIPA, but that is not due to a lack of hops in the nose. Instead the caramel malts just seem to smooth things over more than normal. The taste is a little more hoppy than last year, and this seems to make this a more brilliant creation. Love the way this just glides across the tongue. Scary drinkability for a beer so strong. Before I finished my first bottle, I had to get the second one out of the fridge and warming a bit. I am not sure I will be drinking anything else for a while. For those of you that were able to cellar this, you have more restraint than I. Once this monster is in the house, I seem to be drawn to it.

Photo of mcallister
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005 addition. Been waiting awhile to try this one. Excited but want to try the '06 soon.

What can I say? This is a damn good looking beer. Opaque amber, big and mean looking. An off white bubbly, frothy head holds it's weight and leaves a sticky thin viscous lace down the glass.

Big caramel malt prescence with a floral somewhat piney hop aroma. Toffee and fig also present. This is one that is hard to take your nose out of.

Okay I would like to try this fresh. It is more malty than hoppy although the hop flavor are prominent and delicious. Caramel and toffee malts coat the palate and lead to a bitter, thick floral hop ending. Finish is mediocre but very satisfying. It's been a rainy, dreary day here and this beer is about perfect for the weather. Fall is here; bring on the fall beer.

Thick mouthcoating malt and bittering resiny hops. Can I please have another?

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

Appearance: Dark amber to brown in color. Decent head faded quickley and left some pretty lacing.

Smell: The aroma started with a big smack of hops and then some caramel/malty sweetness.

Taste: Wow, there is almost too much going on in this beer for me to list. The hops were up front and standing strong but were backed with a great sweet cramel maltiness, along with a bit of fruit and some oak taste. Something about it reminded me of the Oaked Arrogant, maybe it was a bit of oak in there I tasted, not sure.

Mouthfeel: Smooth medium/full bodied beer.

Drinkability - Easy to drink so be careful, but for me it was a bit rich to indulge in, so I like to keep'em for times when I want just one good beer.

Photo of rustymoore
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a muddy brown with very little head or lacing. Smells of sweet fruit and syrup. The hops are not as apparent as I was expecting from this ale called the "big hoppy monster" but nevertheless it was exceptional. The taste has a mellow hop bite mixed with a rather sweet flavor. Mouthfeel is a little acidic but still smooth. The overall drinkability ranks high for me and I would definately recommend trying this one if you get a chance.

Photo of mattcrill
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to BA cmaruschak for the chance to sample this one.

Aroma: Hints of brown sugar, molasses, spicy hops, and a brush of some alcohol.

Appearance: Dense brick red pour with a thick tan head. The body has a dark middle and it looks like it has some hop floaties in it.

Between the aroma and appearance, I'm inclined to call this an American Barleywine.

Flavor: Spicy hop notes, more carmel sweetness, slightly piney at the end, and some alcohol that is melded very well with the other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied to full and chewy.

Overall impression: Very nice! It reminds me of some of the better years of Bigfoot with some age on it. It seems aged to me and I would assume that it is. However, it tastes great so I would have some fresh and put a few back. Either way, you can't go wrong. This is where you can't worry about the style because it crosses so many different ones. It has characteristics of an amber, AIPA, APA, and American Barleywine. Whatever you want to call it, I call it GOOD. Strongly recommended.

Photo of jj21
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle thanks to timtheenchanta

2005 edition
deep copper color with a great tan head. Like the Rye Squared, I was very impressed by the density and retention of the head. Aroma is a very sweet caramel from the Huge malty presence balanced by the citrusy pine undertone. Not quite as thick and viscus as the Rye Squared but similar. Easier to drink. Another impressive offering from a brewery I'd like to get to know better.

Photo of sponberg
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Monster Beer Tour 2005 on the label. Appropriate that the label shows an Ed "Big Daddy" Roth style drawing of a hot rod, as this stuff pours like Valvoline. Cloudy with a pillowy, solid offwhite head. Aroma of toasted caramel maltiness with some hop spice - subdued for what I was expecting.

Imperial red? OK - I'll call it an 8% American barleywine and be happy. Whatever it's category, this is a seriously tasty beer - starts with a caramel Munichy maltiness and a Cascade/Ahtanum (brewpub next door to work used this hop to good effect) tasting hoppiness, then a mild but balanced bitterness emerges along with darker fruit maltiness, before the citrusy hops really come out to play. Since it's a 2005 I wasn't expecting a huge hop bite - they've mellowed - but the hops present are citrusy, classic US hops which just balance the maltiness. I don't think a tastebud was left untouched by this - must be insane when fresh and on tap. Flows over the tongue and protects it for 15,000 miles. I'd grab another in a heartbeat, the third if I could find it, and the fourth... nah, save it for another night. Need to seek this out this fall when I head south -

This brewery's (OK, beer marketing company, but whoever came up with the recipes knows things) offerings impress the hell out of me.

Photo of hoppymeal
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown to dark ruby red with a good size tan head. Smell is predominantly caramel malt sweetness with a little piney hop smell in the background, sweet floral aroma also. Taste is also fairly sweet with the hops creating a mildly bitter finish. Medium body. I could feel the alcohol doing it's job, but there was no discernible alcohol in the taste. The beer was overall very drinkable for me, although I definitely didn't think of it as a hop monster. Instead it was quite balanced, leaning a bit more to the malty side. This could be due to the fact that this is a 2005. Doesn't say exactly when in 05, but maybe the hops have mellowed if it was the earlier part of the year. This didn't detract from the beer's quality for me however, just different then my expectations from the label.

Photo of jhammerly
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Compliments of wcudwight.

A ruby body with a tannish head about an inch or so. Head disperses down to a thin film and leaves lacing behind. A nice burst of aromatic hops and a sweet caramel nose. I was expecting more hops considering the namesake of the brew. A thick mouthfeel, almost chewy in texture. Again, more malty than hoppy. Sweet caramel like notes and some hop bitterness, but not overwhelming. I think some more hops need to be added to this brew to balance things out and to live up to its name. Still, this is a nice style and a good beer. I would definitely try this one again if given the chance.

Photo of walleye
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to captaincouger and the Ga. crew for this. poured a nice ruby with a tan head that left some nice lacing. aroma wow could smell the hops and the glass was 3 feet away, pine , grapefruit, big hit of brown sugar, alcohol. flavor where did the hops go? was expecting alot of hops to come out first but the alcohol and brown surgar came out strong, caramel, dry, than some hops. this was a good tasting beer easy drinking but would have like a little more hop flavor.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. A small, half finger sized head forms and leaves a thin film on top of the beer. Dark amber in color and slightly cloudy.

Aroma is pretty big. Lots of caramel malts and lots of hops as well. In the bottle, hops is the main aroma. In the glass, the malts back up the hop flavor and add more complexity to the aroma. Citrus hops and grapefruits. The aroma is wonderful here and hopefully will lead to a wonderful beer.

Very malty taste. Which is a bit surprinsing considering this is a DIPA (the bottle says Imperial Red Ale so I am not sure what category that fits into). The hop flavor is extremely well balanced with the malts which tells me one of two things; either there arent a lot of hops here or there is a large amount of maltiness (I subsribe to the former). Big caramel malts and toffee. Citrus hops jump in the foray as well. Alcohol is present but is pretty well hidden. Raisins and figs as well as some chocolate flavors as well. Very nice flavor here.

Mouthfeel is heavy and creamy. Chewy and very sustaining. This is a great beer that I thoroughly enjoyed. Hops make this beer kind of hard to drink more than one or two at a sitting, but a nice beer nevertheless. I am becoming more and more impressed with Terrapins offerings. I guess I will have to drive the extra 2 hours to purchase their beers; it is well worth it.

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

12oz. bottle courtesy of the man...the myth...the legend...Mr. AKSmokedPorter. Thanks again, Flash!

Poured a very "freshly-brewed iced-tea" color with a thick and sudsy layer of off-white head. Prodigious amounts of lace remain on the glass.

Huge nose here, gang. Large doses of fresh hop scents: Pink grapefruit juice, rind of citrus fruits, pine oils, and a very balancing malt backbone. Wonderful.

Flavor carries this big mix of hops and malt nicely. Lots of hop character: citrus twang mixes with the hefty caramel-toffee-dash of chocolate for a truly palate-pleasing ride. Finishes with lots of hoppy burps.

Great body, very chewy and "full". Barely any ABV noted. Effortless to quaff, this is a very tasty and solidly-crafted beer. Very well-done and much-appreciated!

Photo of UnionMade
4.93/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thank to UncleFlip for the bottle. An unexpected treat!
Pours a hazy mahogany, nearly opaque, topped with a modest almond colored head. Good head retention, lace clinging to the glass in large blobs. Surprising aroma. Very deep, earthy hoppiness, glinting with citrus and pine. Fudge drizzled with caramel, and a bit of apple crisp. I've never had a combination similar to this that really worked well, but this feels seamless, all the scents mingling together effortlessly. The flavor follows suit, the first sip instantly taking hold of the tastebuds, finally letting go long, long after the glass is drained. A slick, almost oily body coats the tongue with cake frosting sugariness. Chocolatey, but mostly caramel, a vague, undefined roasty character. Earthy, orange citrus hop juice gushing everywhere. Apple pie, or probably more accurately apple crisp fruitness. Hints of peach and something like...russian dressing? Sounds wierd, but that's what I'm getting. Good thing I'm a fan. Kinda meaty, too. Incredibly complex for such a hop driven beer. The finish retains some sweetness, moving into a more toffee like character than up front, blistering with hops, hops and more hops. Bitterness is high, but within reason, juicy as hell with a spicy, citric, piney, woody feel. Pretty much runs the gamut of hop flavors. Finishes with a lick of booze, the hop flavor coating the tongue long after the beer is finished. Reserved carbonation forges through the heavy body adequately, without being too nervous about the job. It keeps a very smooth, surprisingly soft and drinkable feel, while packing in the maximum amount of flavor in 12 ounces of big hoppy joy. Goddam this is great shit.
I'd heard this was good from a variety of folks, but it's really a stunning beer. I'd say one of the best, richest brews I've had in a long, long time, certainly of this style. Apparently R.E.M. isn't the only treasure to come out of Athens, GA. Completely boss. The tops. I can't speak highly enough.

Photo of rodrot
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep red color with a 1/4 inch head that lingers in the glass. Aroma is an incredible mixture of herbal hops, citrus, grapefruit and peaches. My first sip is a blast of mouth puckering hops, very citrus-like and fruity with a good balance of malt in the backround. A little bit of alcohol warmth makes itself known, but not overly so. As it warmed, the malt became more prevalent. Could this be the beginning of a new style? Imperial Red Ale. Maybe not, but still an unbelievable beer.

Photo of nickss
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to hoppedup for this one.

Pours a deep red hue... much darker than the typical DIPAs I'm used to, which may be why they called this an Imperial Red. Nice, thick head which refuses to disipate... light khaki in color. Lots of lacing around the glass.

Huge grapefruit notes complemented by a nice piney aroma... the hops are definitely dominant in this one.... a barely perceptable caramel malt lingers in the back, and becomes slight more dominant as the beer warms.

Wonderfully balanced this one is! I was expecting a hop drop-kick to the palate, and indeed, I got one... but along with it was a solid malty backbone that pushes through the wild citrusy hop to make its presence known. Delicious.

Hop tightness on the tongue, with moderate thickness and moderate carbonation.... creamy and nice.

The 8% is fairly noticeable, but not in a bad way... this just tastes like a big beer... and I love it. Extremely well balanced...I wish Terrapin distributed to Winston... I would buy this one frequently.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Big Hoppy Monster is my first beer from Terrapin, a brewery I've been hearing many good things about. It pours into my tulip glass a deep dark red, almost bordering on brown with a half inch of creamy khaki head. Garnet hues shoot out when held to the light. Aromas of sweet, nutty caramel malts with a touch of brown sugar leading into a plenty of citric, piney, earthy hops. Quite a rich, hoppy aroma.

First sip brings a big caramel, bready maltiness upfront with a bit of molasses. Such a dense maltiness that wasn't really expected. Hops comingle beautifully with lots of citrus, grapefruit and pine flavors interspersed throughout the rich maltiness of the brew. It finishes slightly sweet and nutty with a touch of bitterness. A huge red ale that's at the same time very well balanced. Tasty stuff.

Mouthfeel is dense, creamy and smooth with good steady bubbles. I can see where the Big comes into play in the name. The label hits the nail on the head by calling it an Imperial Red Ale. I could see myself enjoying a few of these no problem, just wish it was available to me. Thanks to warriorsoul for tossing this my way when I was in Boston for the EBF. Now I'm looking forward to the Wake N Bake!

Photo of kmpitz2
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep deep amber color with a light off-white head that falls to a light film over top. Clarity is very good and a light cascade of bubbles appear from the bottom of the glass. I like the solid dark color of the beer. A little different from other DIPA's. Nose is very rich and malty. Good notes of caramel infused fruityness with a a nice earthy and piney hop melding in. This one is definately coming through as a malt centered beer. Flavor is showing more of the hop. The caramel malt is still very prevalent, with the bold fruityness coming through, but with very resinous piney hop. Some sweet citrusy hop notes hit on the finish. This one really strikes me as an American barleywine more than a DIPA. Feel is moderate to thick, with a moderate carbonation. Is nice and full. This is a very drinkable brew. I think the balance is very good between the sweetness of the strong caramel malts and the bold piney and lesser citrusy hop. I don't agree with this being a DIPA or an imperial red as the label says, but I agree that this is a very well made beer.

Photo of jlh8643
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass:

A: A 2finger light beige head on top a hazy red chestnut body.

S: Loads of piney, citrus hops

T: Lots of grapefruit rind and grassy, pine hops up front; good amt
of caramel malt

M: Smooth, full bodied; long hop finish

D: Good for a well hidden 8% alch.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dusky cherry with luminous, rose colored edges; an absolutely gorgeous color that is more consistent with an Imperial Red (as the brewery claims) than a DIPA. The golden beige head is beginning to melt like a milkshake in the midday sun. An impressive amount of sea foam lace is arrayed on the glass, with more sure to follow at low tide.

The nose is outstanding. It's mega-hoppy (grapefruit peel and pine sap) with no shortage of caramel malt (brown sugar). The hop bill consists of Ahtanum, Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe and Magnum... an absolutely killer lineup if I've ever seen one. Those boys at Terrapin know their hops and they love to use them with reckless abandon.

This is amazingly delicious beer. Not that I doubted it for a second (I've been a Terrapin fan ever since I tasted Rye P.A.). Big Hoppy Monster, in addition to being true to its name, is true to the Imperial Red style. There probably isn't much difference between this beer and a DIPA, but I still think it's a valid distinction.

The malt backbone is Mastadon huge and provides loads of sweet, sticky toffee pudding-like flavor. That's usually a negative in my book since all that malt tends to get in the way of the hop flavor and bitterness. Not so here. There's such a massive hop load that their flavor and bitterness survive unscathed.

There's no way to pick out the contributions from the various hops. Pink grapefruit juice leads the way, followed closely by sticky spruce juice. Since Ahtanum is similar to Cascade, there isn't one of these hops that I don't love. It still takes skill to combine them in the creation of a tongue-ruffling, ass kicking beer and Terrapin has shown how it can and should be done.

The finish is so long the flavor doesn't fade completely by the next sip. Of course, it doesn't have a chance since the sips are coming fast and furious. If there's any beer that begs to be released in bombers, this is it. Make that wax-dipped 750s. Given the massive quantity of ingredients, how could the mouthfeel be anything less than fantastically full and lush?

Big Hoppy Monster is big, it's hoppy and it's a (hop) monster of truly epic proportions. The label states that it's the 'inaugural brew' of the Terrapin Monster Beer Tour. Let's hope that doesn't mean it'll only be brewed once. It deserves to be a regular release so that hopheads will never be without one of the boldest and hoppiest beers the South has yet produced.

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

12oz bottle from hoppedup as part of the East Coast 6-Pack & Shirt BIF. Thanks for the opportunity. Best before box on label is empty.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" brown head above the lightly cloudy red brew. What head there is lasts pretty well, with average lacing. Aroma is full of perky green hops, with a little room for malt sweetness and some alcohol to peek through. Taste is initially well-balanced, and the the piney hops keep coming and coming, with a slightly warming close. Possibly light on the hops for the style, but we'll give the benefit of the doubt here. Mouthfeel and drinkability are great for the style. Very nice brew, wouldn't mind having another of these, for sure.

Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 855 ratings.