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Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster - Terrapin Beer Company

Terrapin Big Hoppy MonsterTerrapin Big Hoppy Monster

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

825 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 825
Reviews: 590
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.84%

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)
View: Beers (39) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 825 | Reviews: 590 | Show All Ratings:
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2008 00:41:18 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of shivtim


3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mmm, hoppy monsters. Love the name.
It's a deep brown/red color, translucent with a small tan head that lazily floats around for a while. Nose is great piney hops, but a bit one noted. Taste is hops, then some more hops. Sticky but not an over-the-top hop bomb. Slight alcohol on the end. Mouthfeel is pretty good.

Serving type: on-tap

10-25-2007 12:06:43 | More by shivtim
Photo of CWiggins

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Recently tasted on tap at Tyler's Taproom in Durham, NC. This dark brown beer exhibited a white, one-finger head, and smelled a bit citrusy with a whole lot of hop background. The flavor was intensly malty, with a nutty, hoppy aftertaste that lingered just long enough. It had a smooth texture with medium carbonation, and I particularly like the biscuity finish.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2007 02:43:26 | More by CWiggins
Photo of RustyDiamond


4.78/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a pint yesterday at the Brick Store Pub. Simply gorgeous in the glass. Very dark reddish brown with a glowing tan brown head. Aromas of molasses/toffee & grassy hops. Syrupy fresh hop nose hit me first, then the super balanced semi-sweet malt. Perhaps cocoa? Great lacing in the glass. Noticeable twinge of alcohol in the cheeks. Like the name implies, monster hoppy finish.

Hard to describe how much I loved this beer yesterday! My favorite version to date. Definitely one to drink, and drink again on draft. Totally different ballgame than it's cousin in the bottle, as most great beers are.

Serving type: on-tap

10-05-2007 13:42:03 | More by RustyDiamond
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!!

Serving type: on-tap

10-22-2006 14:10:51 | More by kimcgolf
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2006 19:43:56 | More by jackorain
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!

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2006 23:59:25 | More by ATLbeerDog
Photo of Langston


4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd had Terrapin's Rye Pale Ale and liked it. Saw this one and was, at first attracted to the alcohol content. The red color surprised me. Fantastic hoppy bouquet. The taste was an even bigger surprise, though a pleasant one. It filled my mouth... and my heart with joy.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2006 03:47:00 | More by Langston
Photo of Higravity


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

I actually sampled this beer out of the brewery where it is contract brewed. Had several glasses and even though they never told us what it was, several hints were given :>)

Nice red color topped with a lackluster head but what no big deal. Smells great like a big handful of fresh american hops, a citrus undertone and a ringing floral sweetness all capped by a slight spice. The malt was buried in the nose but it came alive in my mouth and was offered a sweetness of caramelized malt that complimented the the bite and the floralness of the hops. Nice mouthfeel and very drinkable. Man I wish this was sold in bottles around here. Hopefully Terrapin thinks of Maryland as a 2nd home as the expand and will sell us their wares.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2006 18:41:29 | More by Higravity
Photo of chOAKbarrell


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

Fascinating head on this one. Totally dense and thick. Maybe 10 tiny bubbles showed up on the solid head. It stuck around and made its presence known. Red red red body.

The scent was the best characteristic of this beer. Tons of lovely hops all over the place. I'd rather inhale this beer than drink it.

Tasted like how the label described it: "imperial amber ale." Not hoppy to the point of offensiveness, and I suppose the brewers achieved what they were aiming for. Sort of interesting.

Mouthfeel was solid and supportive of the taste.

Drinkability? I tried this again after my initial sample and I wasnt sure what so many people are making a big deal of. Its hoppy and its decent, but it seemed kind of gimmicky to me, and I'm more interested in subtlety these days than being hit in the face with a sack-o-hops.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2006 06:18:03 | More by chOAKbarrell
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

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

The beer arrived on the bar cloudy and milky dark amber brown with a tan and lasting head that never failed to coat the glass.

The aroma was strongly of citrus and contained a strong fruity impression. The strong fruit and malt aromas erupted beneath the head with a slight grassy character.

The flavor was malty with a nice hop complement. The malt added a nice sweetness to the flavor that was coupled with caramel. The citrusy hop bittering and flavor work well to dry out the beer. The hops were also grassy and resinous but those two characteristics were somewhat muted.

The finish was dry with lasting malt and hop flavors into the aftertaste. The body was medium full and well done. The hop belches from the Monster were magnificent. Some slight alcohol warming was notable after consumption.

10 ounce draft at Summits in Cumming, GA.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2006 02:18:51 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of Bonhoeffer


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

I volunteered at the 3rd Annual Georigia Craft Brew Challenge, and my primary task over the course of the evening was to serve this baby up to festival attendees. Of course i got to enjoy a fair bit of it myself. I'm a lucky man.

This is a beautiful "Imperial Red Ale." Dark ruby red. Thick malty backbone supporting a huge hoppiness. In spite of high ABV and intense hopping, i thought it was quite smooth and drinkable. I picked up quite a few bottles of this at Green's and i'm glad i'll be able to enjoy it for a while to come.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2005 16:30:42 | More by Bonhoeffer
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was one of my favorites at the Classic City Brewfest, I enjoyed many samples. It is a mahogany colored brew yielding a thick, frothy puff of oatmeal hued head. lacing is adequate and hangs on the glass like moss.

Aroma is big and powerful, brimming with juicey citrus and pine-drenched florals. There's an underlying caramel-sweetness to it backing up the hops. A very impressive nose on this one.

Oh yeah, it's all good in the flavor dept! Lots of sticky orange and tangerine, delicate florals, and sappy pinecones. It is expertly balanced with a semi-sweet, caramel and honey malt overload. This is a perfect example of the style here, and so balanced!

The mouthfeel is full, creamy, and absolutely mouth-coating. Flavors continue to roll around on you tongue long after you've taken your last sip. I sure do hope that I'll run into this one again some day!

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2005 21:25:15 | More by AlexJ
Photo of Southernbrew


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

On tap at Taco Mac near Ellard.

Pours medium brownish with very little head.

Aroma seems dead on for style. Flowery and bitter hop aromas combine along with a caramel-like malt sweetness. Some piney aromas as well.

Rich mouthfeel, reasonably smooth. Tons of bitterness, floral flavors and potent pineyness. Solid malt backbone with some caramel flavors. Finishes with a dry, chalky bitter aftertaste. Delicious!

Very well made double IPA. I would consider this a sessionable version of the style. Well done.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2004 20:34:55 | More by Southernbrew
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks and dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down either. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and some mild herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with a sweet flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2013 04:42:52 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of AgentMunky


3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an BrewDog cervoise glass. I am surprised I've not reviewed this before. Unfortunately, this bottle is a little more than a year old. Vintage 2011.

A: Pours very dark, with little to no head. In direct light, it's only lightly translucent, being a pretty solid ruddy brown. Some effervescence, but almost no lacing.

S: Malty-bitter-sweet. Brown sugar and citrusy hops.

T: Very good! Age has hardly diminished the appeal of this imperial amber. It has all the round, fruity maltiness, but with a wicked bitter twist of abundant hops. The aftertaste is smooth and wet, but the hops and the ABV impart a modicum of dryness.

M: Light carbonation, thin body, sticky finish.

O: A good, high-powered beer and excellent amber. Powerful but well-balanced. Recommended; would enjoy again.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2012 02:54:50 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of jtd1969

North Carolina

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

A: - Dark dark, deep amber color, excellent carbonation but no or extremely slight lacing

S - Mainly malt with some burnt sugar and a twist of citrus(very light)

T - Tons of deep sweet burnt sugary caramel style malt with a smooth that bites(Hops linger onto a peppery finish). (Almost like a "light" Barleywine.)

M - Full bodied with medium carbonation and a peppery hops that lingers after the over abundance of deep medium malts

O - Delicious, I highly recommend if you like the style!!!

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2012 03:15:16 | More by jtd1969
Photo of TBoneJones


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

Vintage 2011- scored this while in Florida, early July.
Pours a deep amber, lush thick-finger of a head. Particles of varying size are visible floating in my glass.
Smells fresh and piney, some floral.
Wow nice hoppy bite and thick tasting beer, immediately it balances out with the malt finish. Not usually a fan of "red" ales, but this one certainly is tasting fine. Whatever is going on here to meld the caramel and hop presence is doing it extremely well.
Again this is thick, and the hop bitterness sticks out again, blended well but never to go unnoticed, carbonation great, finishes nicely.
I think I realize why I like this compared with other reds I've tasted: It was sweet just right. I like this type of beer sweet. And it also doesn't hurt that it's somewhat reminiscent of a big IPA. Paired well with a small bowl of ground beef seasoned Mexican-style.  I expected something different, and I wish I had purchased second bottle to try aging this a bit.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2012 04:01:27 | More by TBoneJones
Photo of turnerk3

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a delectable deep amber color with a subtle eggshell white head. Unfortunately, the retention is noticeably lacking. However, it should be noted that I am reviewing a batch from 2010. It is always hard to predict what two years of aging will do to a brew.

S: A sweet malty essences comes across rather forcibly. There is a barley-wine similarity. Again, this is probably do to the aging since the ingredients have had more time to combine thoroughly.

T: Exceedingly unique malty sweetness provide a caramel, toffee, sugary flavor which combines nicely with the hops to provide a taste similar to that of a barley-wine combined with a amber ale.

M: Even with the barley-wine sweetness from the malts, it does not finish like a barley-wine. The hops work nicely to eliminate that thickness associated with most barley-wines. This is probably the closest aspect to a true amber ale.

O: After aging for two years, this oddly comes across much different than its original counterpart. It is highly complex and is definitely a beer worth the appreciation.

Serving type: growler

08-05-2012 21:45:46 | More by turnerk3
Photo of cwguy5

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - cloudy rusty color with a thin light caramel head that faded quickly to a very thin cap; fair amount of spotty lacing

S - brown sugar, nuts, sweet malts, some hops in background

T - lots of sweet malts with a hoppy bitter edge; some caramel and brown sugar

M - medium bodied with a rich, creamy mouthfeel; a mild bitter aftertaste and moderate linger

O - solid balanced amber. a bit on the sweet side but that doesn't bother me. nice hops profile. recommended!

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2012 03:39:02 | More by cwguy5
Photo of CaptCleveland


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

12oz bottle, 2011 vintage as labeled. Thanks zac16125.

Pours a red-maroon, clear elixir, thin tan head remains throughout tasting. Not much lacing.

The hops have left with Elvis. Sweet caramel, sugary, ripened fruits, barleywine action.

Yep, a bit of age on this one. The alcohol has settled and now much barlywine flavor. Nice, though, alcohol sugar esters, caramel, raisin, fig.

A bit under carbonated, smooth.

Have noted this change with DH Double Crooked Tree. Would prefer fresh so the "big hoppy" part of the brew could be appreciated.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2012 02:56:20 | More by CaptCleveland
Photo of zac16125

South Carolina

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
2011 Vintage

A: Pours a hazy mahogany brown, with just under 2 fingers width of khaki colored head.  Fine particulate sedimentation can be seen suspended in the glass. The head dissipates down at a moderately slow rate.  Leaves a good amount of lacing throughout the drink.  

S: Candied sugars, citrusy hops, caramel malt, dark fruits in the form of raisin and fig.  Really nice, but not much hops and doesn't follow the style.  Smells like a Belgium quad, or a barley wine.  I like it though, a lot.  

T: Interesting flavor profile, and actually quite complex. Like the nose there is ton of sweetness in the taste.  Caramel, burnt sugars, dark fruits.  Hop presence is light, and what is there is mostly just some piney bitterness on the backend.  Again, has the flavor profile of a barleywine or old ale.  Excellent taste, as long as you are ok with a beer that doesn't fit the standard amber ale profile (which I am).

M/D: On the lighter side of full bodied.  Moderate carbonation.  Sticky mouthfeel to the point of almost becoming a touch syrupy.  ABV is very well masked, and drinkability is impressively high.

O: Overall, what a nice surprise.  Nothing at all what I expected, or what the name implies, but I really enjoyed this beer and was thoroughly impressed.   It's hard to compare to others in the style, as it's completely different, but I will say IMO its loads better than Nugget Nectar (or really any other amber ale I've had) which I think says something.  I would really like to try one of these fresh.  It still drinks awesomely, but I have a feeling that the palate profile would be very different if it weren't 8-9months old.  If I wouldn't have traded away my other one I would have saved it to do a side by side with a fresh 2012.  I think I'll try to grab some extras of this years to do that in the future. Highly recommend.  

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2012 01:45:46 | More by zac16125
Photo of mvanaskie13


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

Picked up a bottle at beer heaven, just checked and this is a vintage 2010 brew...

Poured into a tulip shaped pint glass, color is pretty dense, darker amber, I did not decant so there is some residual floating yeast. Head is light tan, pretty frothy, sits well on top with a little lacing.

Smell is pretty vinuous, lots of raisan and muddled fruits with some bittering hops in the background but the malt is mostly upfront.

Taste is odd, I know this is supposed to be a big hoppy amber ale, but it comes through pretty fruity towards something more of a hoppy barleywine. I'm not nocking those things, its still a very tasty beer as the the bit of aging has let some vinous, raisainy qualities to come out - hop bitterness is present but the maltiness overpowers the hop notes i'm triying to pin point.

Mouthfeel is pretty strong on the tongue, edging on cloying but somewhat expected from an aged hoppy beer that presents with some vinous sweet qualities. carbonation has lingered long enough to keep flavors popping after a taste.

Overall, a bit of a surprise beer but the aging and qualities that come through are pretty good - not something i could have several of but a nice beer to taste.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2012 22:15:56 | More by mvanaskie13
Photo of inlimbo77


3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from the 2011 Vintage. Poured into a Deschutes tulip.

A: Pours a very deep dark amber reddish color. Half finger off white head. Fades pretty quickly to a ring around the outside of the glass. Looks like good carbonation. Some alcohol feet are present at that 8%+ level.

S: Smells of bready malts and earthy hops. It's an imperial so not ready to call it old, but smells rather bready. I wish the hops were a little more pronounced.

T: Bready malty mess at this point. Mind you, I am drinking this after a Sculpin, Furious, and Aorta Ale. This just doesn't measure up on the hop scale for me. It's very malt loaded, to the point where that is almost all that I get. There is some hop bitterness at the close of the brew, so you know it's an IPA or imperial.

M: Medium bodied.

M: Medium

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 13:15:33 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of evilkalla


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle into an ale glass.

A: Slightly cloudy amber/brown with a quarter inch of head which vanished pretty quickly. Low level of carbonation.

S: Brown malts with hints of citrus and piney hops. Very IPA-like. Nice.

T: Very malty, with quite a bit of sweetness up front. Bitter hops on the finish. I would like this more if it was a little drier, but it's still pretty good.

M: Has a thick, heavy mouthfeel.

O: I think this would be much improved if it wasn't quite as sweet. Still, not bad.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 19:11:11 | More by evilkalla
Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 825 ratings.