1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster - Terrapin Beer Company

Not Rated.
Terrapin Big Hoppy MonsterTerrapin Big Hoppy Monster

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

847 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 847
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster Alström Bros
Ratings: 847 | Reviews: 590 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Erice78
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Erice78, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of DmanGTR
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

DmanGTR, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of ncvbc
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, what we have this year to me is for the better and the worse. The Fall '07 release is definitely more of a "DIPA" and fits into its category on this site but I still like my old '06. Pour is that deep dark amber red and the carbonation is up. Smell is fresh hops up front. Good amount of malt to balance. Taste is both hops and malts, hops barely taking the victory for dominance. Piney and citrus hops with caramel malts and the same but less pronounced hints of brown sugar. Mouthfeel is more bitter for sure and tingly on the tongue. Good drinkability also. Alcohol only shows toward the bottom of the glass after a while and a couple would do me just fine. Personally, I liked the '06 more as a beer and an Imperial Red while this one fits more with what it's categorized to be here. Good job, Terrapin!

ncvbc, Oct 12, 2007
Photo of hockeyfighter19
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

hockeyfighter19, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of rabiddawg
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

rabiddawg, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of PthPndr
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

PthPndr, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of jaymo18
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

jaymo18, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of everetends
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle I got from a lovely four pack from Five Points Bottle Shop in Athens, GA. Beer two of the Red Ale goodness. Served up in a Terrapin standard pint.

A: Pours a really dark amber that is closer to a brown than a red. The read comes out more when held to the light and this thing shines. Maybe it has a cherry wood finish. Got a good finger of tan head on this (expecting more of a white, pleasantly suprised) and has some decent retention as well. The lacing is incredibly sticky and notches the glass with thick lace and webbing all the way down. Just looks great.

S: Smell is of some nice spicy goodness. Lots of spicy and piney hops. There is some citrus in there as well. The malt really tones this down a bit in the nose and with a touch of wood this smells a bit like a nice whiskey. Caramel and brown sugar can be found in here easily and rounds this out wonderfully.

T: Taste hits you with some hops off the bat. Peppery spice comes out nicely, along with some pine and grapefruit. You think that this will bite hard but not so much. The heavy malt sweetness comes in and really tames this monster. The brown sugar is very there and sweetens further. There is also some nice notes of apple and cherry peaking out at me. Damned tasty and a fine treat.

M: Medium to full in body that has a nice, light creaminess to it. Carbonation is a bit light and it makes this one a bit more of a sipper. The aftertaste is mostly of some hop bite that really coats the top of your mouth. ABV is slightly noticable but just enough that makes it pleasant. So nice.

D: This one is a sipper that you really want to savor. I am not game for killing more than one of these in a night, but thats just me. I would rather nurse this and enjoy everything this has to offer. So pour a tall glass and enjoy. I know I did.

everetends, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of SirSketch
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful deep amber colored beer with a head that clings. Smells sort of like an english barleywine because of its similar dark fruits, maltiness and hints of alcohol. It has a pleasant hop aroma, but not as much as expected in an imperial red, though I think it works better this way. Very sweet, syrupy malt flavor. Some cherry and plums, too. Moderate bitterness and earthy, spicy hops. Fantastic beer I wish I had more of.

SirSketch, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of GeorgianBayPackr
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

GeorgianBayPackr, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of ballewblake
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into my NB Taster

More of a brown ale body, one finger tan head on pour that didn't last. Light head remains. Something must be up with me today or I'm just getting off beers, not getting much of a hop aroma or taste in this right off. Almost all barley malts on the nose, hearty too, some metallic. Mouth is full of flavor, mostly malts, some hops noted in the back, but carbonation dominates. Very flavorful brew but I put it in my cellar and forgot about (lack of space in the fridge when I got it.) Point is I'm missing on the big exclamation on the label of it being a big hoppy monster. Body and mouthfeel are perfect, texture of this brew is how I like them. I could drink this aged version day and night, but on a side note I need to get this again and try it fresh.

ballewblake, Dec 22, 2009
Photo of BigTrubble
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

BigTrubble, Sep 29, 2012
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

PatronWizard, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of Casey3236
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Casey3236, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of jda007
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

jda007, Jul 20, 2012
Photo of deereless
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A murky brown color with a frothy layer of head on top, lots of lacing down the sides of the glass - 3.50, S: A solid citrus punch on the nose balanced with a hearty bread-like aroma, quite biscuity, mild toffee - 3.50, T: The palate has tons of caramel and a touch of coffee, sharp hop bite that is piney and with some grapefruit rind - 4.50, M: Extremely creamy and smooth - 4.50, D: I'm a fan of the Imperial reds and this is one of the better, more drinkable ones I've had 4.50

deereless, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of Mississippi
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Mississippi, Jul 01, 2012
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!

orbitalr0x, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of jcdiflorio
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 450th review thanks a bunch to Kwakwhore for the send. 12oz brown bottle served into a flaired tulip glass

Hazy,dark appple cidery color with a 1" creamy light tan head dissapating a bit quick to a creamy foam ring leaving spotty webby like sticky lacing. Tightly knitted very tiny bubbles surging from all arond the sides of the glass.

Strong perfumy hop aromas with a grassy edgy,not as aromatic as i would have expected. Sweet carmelled malts in the background.

Execellent balance throughout,complex taste,not quite the hop bomb i expected,but a good hoppy taste neverless. Very earthy with a very leafy/tea-like bitterness,clean with a sweet carmelly.nutty taste that has a good amount of fruityness. Seems to get better and better with every taste.

Smooth,medium bodied with a light feel and a nice tangyness. Suprizing drinkability has a lot to do with the name of the beer. Has a very pleasing aftertaste,mouthwatering, really wish i had another. Would love to try this beer again sometime.

jcdiflorio, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a deep red crimson beautiful pour with a large deep khaki tan head, small bubbles form a tight lacing that has even streaks as it clings to the glass with each sip. Aroma offers up big juicy grape fruit, pine, and floral hops. Sticky malt sweetness with caramel and tropical fruits galore, like mango and pineapple. Slight creamy alcohol soothes the whole session. Flavors are great, intense bitterness with floral and pine bitterness and a big malty caramel candied sugared edge really great malt sugars infused with hops. I always knew I loved Frederick Brewing, even if Flying Dog owns them nowadays what a great contract brewer. Thanks Spike and John for coming into the Burgh. Keep releasing these brews in the Burgh and I will buy em up. Mouthfeel is fuller bodied with hop oils and alcohol simmering, what a brew I love every aspect harsh yet full of finesse on the palate it's hard to explain what a great drinking beer. Drinkability is awesome, I can't get enough I had Rye Squared while visiting Georgia, when my brother Dante' first moved down to the area. What an experience, I need to try more of these Monster beers. Including the Imperial Pils and Wake and Bake Coffee infused Imperial Stout. I love Terrapin plus I currently have a mixed case of their standard brews, those are just as good.

WVbeergeek, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of hooliganlife
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks OldStyleCubFan! ive been wanting to try this for over a year.

pour was DEEP ruby red with a light creamy head, decent lacing

very floral with giant sweet honey malt notes.

very deep with sweet chewy malts and a very floral and lightly bitter citrus flavor. light grapefruit and orange flavors.

light carbonation but with some bite. very thick

love this and so glad i got to try this. i would love to drink these all year round. i also love that they are 12oz bottles.

hooliganlife, Oct 14, 2009
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looks very much like a big red ale should with an attractive burgundy toned body. Hosts an inch and a half of rocky tan head with a decent retention. nose is a nice mix of toffee like malt notes and oiley mineral based hops. A little bit of peppery spice shows thru also. Enters the mouth creamy with nutty, dirty fresh malt feel and a noticeable but soft hop character. A woodsy mineral feel stays along for the ridy all thru the palate. Malts are slightly sweet and carmalized, almost doughy. The hop profile is not as loud al I was expecting. Mouthfeel is really very creamy smooth and quite pleasant. While I would not call this beer a monster, I would call it a super enjoyable, extremely drinkable brew that would go well with many dishes.

SPLITGRIN, Mar 23, 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 MarkSCCOT
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this beer. Since we popped the cap here in SC many of the new big beers were hop bombs which is not my thing. But this beer is well balanced. It poured a great dark color with a lingering 2 finger head. While the hops are evident, the malt aftertaste balanced it out. This is a fine example of a balanced beer and will definitely be a favorite. As a matter of fact after sampling a single I returned for several 4 packs to cellar away. The high abv is the only limiting factor on it's drinkability. Willdefinitely have more than one if I have no place to drive!

MarkSCCOT, May 27, 2007
Photo of BurnsTau
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark amber color, good head and lacing.

Smells are good, suprisingly a bit of a malty and sweet aroma coming through. Taste is good and rich, with a name big hoppy monster I would have though this would be a bit more hoppy. The hops are definitely there, but the maltiness is more than in check here, making the whole thing pretty damn enjoyable. Like others have said, think of a richer and more hopped amber, and this is it.

Overall a very enjoyable beer, if a bit misleading. Another winner by Terrapin, who are rapidly becoming one of my favorite breweries.

BurnsTau, Feb 10, 2007
Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
89 out of 100 based on 847 ratings.