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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 wsantas


3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber. Slightly translucent.

S: Hops, Citrus, Maple, Hints of coffee, sweet

T: Hops, Alcohol, Oak, Bitter, Butterscotch

M: Creamy, heavy, slight burn

O: Big Bold flavors. Alcohol taste and biterness leave a long ending. Didn't love.

I would most likely liked this beer more after a little aging.

Serving type: growler

02-20-2012 18:33:52 | More by wsantas
Photo of PatDreadful


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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Victory Tulip.

Appearance: The pour is gorgeous! As the dark chestnut brew hits the glass a wonderful three finger tan head rises up. The retention on this thing is amazing and it laces throughout.

Smell: I really expected to find some more hops here based on the name but was welcomed by the slightest hint of citrus mixed with a combination of sweetness and toastiness. Very good.

Taste: Again I am surprised to find that the hops are not the featured flavor. I was first hit by with the caramel malt which slowly gives way to some earthy tasting hops. Next the huge malt backbone really takes over and you get the flavors that one would look for in a great red ale. All of this ends with the slightest bitter sweetness from the hops.

Mouthfeel: This is interesting. It has a very medium body but tastes very full in the mouth. There is a really nice warming effect that never crosses the line into "hot".

Drinkability: This is a really drinkable brew especially on a cold winter evening. I could easily put a few back without realizing it.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2012 18:51:28 | More by PatDreadful
Photo of BeerLover99


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

A: brown/dirty orange, trace tan head,
patchy lacing

S: huge RYE nose, pine, grapefruit, mild spices

T: grapefruit, BIG rye, malt, pine, slick bitter

M: med/heavy body, big oily/sticky mouth

O: POW! Nice one by Terrapin. Will
get again and highly recommend it.


Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 21:48:01 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of sidetracked


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

Pours a deep ruby, amber red with a dark cream head. Head dissipates quickly, but lingers around the edges. Clear, but with some very fine particulates.

Aroma is sweet caramel malt, brown sugar, tropical fruit and piney hops with a little alcohol presence. Fairly sweet with a hint of bitterness.

Taste upfront is sweet fruity and piney hops mixed with toasted caramel malts and rye. Sweet caramel malt middle. More bitterness and hops come through at the finish--mix of pine and caramel. The flavor is very similar to the aroma.

Medium body and syrupy with low carbonation. Thick.

Kind of drinks like a lighter barley wine--malty and thick with a good hop presence. Well balanced flavor.


Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 17:20:38 | More by sidetracked
Photo of muletrane


4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Bruery tulip.

A: Pours a murky plum colour. 1 finger of light tan head with tight bubbles and good retention. Decent lacing.

S: Big caramel malt notes dominate the nose. Just a touch of citrusy hop aroma. Smells quite nice.

T: Once again big caramel malt flavor up front with a nice citrus hop flavor on the back end. The finish is a little on the sweet side with a touch of alcohol.

M: Slick mouthfeel overall. Heavy body with low carbonation. Slightly sticky as well.

Overall this is not the "Big Hoppy Monster" I was hoping for. BUT this is still a tasty brew and worth a try!

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 14:54:57 | More by muletrane
Photo of TechTriumph


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

2011 Vintage; Poured in a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - 1/2" of creamy, light tan head that recedes pretty quickly; Dark mahogany/reddish amber color; Cloudy appearance; A little bit of lacing

S - Good, balanced nose here; Piney and citrusy hops along with a big dose of sugar, and a lesser amount of caramel and toasted toffee

T - Very malt forward in the taste, which was unexpected; Loads of sugary malts; A bit of caramel, toasted toffee, molasses, figs, and raisins, with just a faint touch of licorice; Very subtle taste of piney and citrusy hops; The taste overall is very sweet with a bit of bitterness mixed in

M - Low to medium carbonation; A notch above medium bodied; Semi-dry finish; A little warmth from the alcohol

O - Although this beer took me by surprise with the taste, it was highly enjoyable. After taking in the aroma, I was prepared for some big time hoppy flavor. Instead, I was greeted with sweet, dominating malts which had many different flavors that worked well together. The hops may have been more in the background, but they still played a nice part in the overall flavor and weren't too subtle. In the end, the name may have been misleading, but it won't keep me from buying this delicious beer again.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 20:39:07 | More by TechTriumph
Photo of smakawhat


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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Vintage 2011.

A one finger light tan foamy head is presented off the pour, but at least it stays. Body color is a very dark indian red with ruby and red hues towards the edges. It looks a little frozen and lifeless.

Nose is strong ale smelling. Big malts and a little bit of heat. There is a hint of piney hop wanting to creep out behind this thick malt booze however.

Taste is like a chewy strong ale, with a faint chocolate bitter. This doesn't feel much different than a typical American Strong Ale. Rich malts with a thick body that is certainly tolerable. Hop angle on this is pretty much non existent. There is a certain tobacco like dry finish on this which is kind of interesting, sort of a "tickle" in the back of the throat.

It's a very good beer, not worth of it's name, maybe I have an old one, but it's too much in strong ale territory, however, it doesn't taste particularly boozy either for an 8 abv. I do enjoy it for what it is, just the name hints to me of some disappointment.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 00:59:16 | More by smakawhat
Photo of keanex

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle stating vintage 2011. Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A: Murky red with sediment in the body. Thin tan head which quickly disappears.

S: Warm and inviting, caramel and toffee notes slight dark fruits in this as well. Very sweet.

T: Caramel and toffee are huge through this, without much hop presence which surprised me considering the name. Sweet and malty, and very warming.

M: Medium to thick bodied with fizzy carbonation coating my tongue.

O: I was expecting something completely different given the name. This is still a good beer, though I feel it will mellow with time and age decently.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 05:09:19 | More by keanex
Photo of harrymel


3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Dark brownish red with flecks of yeast cycling around in the ale with three fingers of persistent caramel foam. Strong sheet of lace. Smells good and malty, some toffee, tea and hints of mushrooms. Also smelling some brown sugar.

Nice malty, sweet ale with some nougat tones and some nice white cake flavor. Nothing particularly complex, but the yeast seems to add a nice nutty element and this one is dangerously drinkable. Wish there were some spicy bittering from hops, but hey, can't always have it all.

Decent enough brew. I like the malt profile on this beer, but I like a little more hop character in my Red/Impy reds.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 06:28:13 | More by harrymel
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

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

Pours a deep, haxy amber with a quarter inch of off white head that has great retention. Smells of bready malt and piny, faintly citrusy hops. Tastes like heavy barley malt with undertones of caramel, pineapple, and faint citrus. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with light carbonation.

This is a very smooth, easy to drink beer with a relatively high ABV. The malt content reminds me of fresh Bigfoot or 90 Minute, but the hop character is a little more subdued and pineapple-like. Delicious; I'd get another one in a heartbeat.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2012 01:22:05 | More by tdm168
Photo of soulfly1492


3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Bold, intense aroma. Sweet dark malts and crisp hops. Caramel, honey, fig, chocolate, citrus. The malts unquestionably overpower the hops.

Appearance: Dark brown with red highlights. Cloudy when held up to a bright light. Pours a tall medium brown head, but only since the pour was high above the glass. Wonderful head retention. Intense, sticky lacing.

Taste: Sweet raisins, molasses, mild chocolate, definitely some alcohol. Some mild piney hops. Nice bold flavor, although my expectations were sky-high from the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body. Very oily, although the hops and alcohol give a mild drying sensation. A bit warming. No carbonation. Alcohol is present, but is not hot.

Overall: Nice bold malt flavor here. The dark fruity flavor is also savory. Reminiscent of a good Strong Ale, except that it has less hops, and more dark fruits. I hate to even mention it since this is an impressive brew, but the stylistic accuracy is a bit off. The only (minor) complaint here is the large presence of alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 23:23:30 | More by soulfly1492
Photo of Nachojon


3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Great looking beer. Hazy deep wood amber, red. Really thin layer of head that dissipates quite quickly.

S- Some hops, and some nice sweet notes, like a raspberry with a little tart.

T- WOAH. I'd say Big Malty Monster to start. Like big brown figs, raisin and even some chocolate. There are some hops in the finish, it's balance is on the malt side, however.

M- Thick. It's not hot, but not overly drinkable in my opinion. Some residue left on tongue.

O- Good, but not my favorite. I would love to try some more beer from Terrapin.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 02:32:45 | More by Nachojon
Photo of kzoobrew


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

Review input from notes.
Thanks to Ryan for this bottle.

Rusted brown colored body. The beer is fairly clear, this is a slight haze noted. Two finger frothy cinnamon colored head floats atop. The head recedes back slowly leaving a healthy dose of lacing.

The aroma balances the warm malt and sticky hops rather well. Toasted malt base followed by a substantial amount of caramel. The aroma gets a bit deeper with the addition of some cocoa scents. Resinous pine and sweet citrus hop aromas provide a counterpoint to the sizable malt bill.

The flavor begins rather malt forward. Heavy on the caramel malt, warm bread and a soft dark chocolate flavor develop moving back. Piny hop flavor melds with the dark malt to display a somewhat earthy flavor. Citrus flavor emerge from beneath lightening the flavor a bit. Very smooth bitterness

Medium bodied Imperial Red. The carbonation is moderate and appropriate. Very soft gentle feel on the tongue. The finish comes up just short of being long.

Very enjoyable beer. The flavors layer rather well creating a beer that is not only tasty but interesting. Very well balanced, drinkability is rather high.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 18:17:09 | More by kzoobrew
Photo of bbeane


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

A- Poured into a Duvel tulip... a finger+ thick mostly creamy head erupts with very nice lacing and retention. Beer is a dark copper color, ruby when held up to the light with a fair amount of sediment

S- Dry citrusy hops. I don't get alot of the other figs, raisons, and what not. Maybe a hit of some sweet malt, but not much

T- Guess my nose is just off... sweet malts along with figs, raison, and caramel come through stronger than that of the citrusy hops. They're there, but not as substancial as I thought they'd be. Alcohol is very well masked

M- Medium body with medium carbonation

O- Another solid beer from Terrapin. Great all around beer. Way more drinkable than it should be at 8.3% abv


Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 02:49:05 | More by bbeane
Photo of NuclearDolphin


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

Poured into a 12oz Tumbler Glass; Beer Courtesy of a beer mail I received VIA beer swap

Appearance - Extremely Cloudy Dark Brown color with no variation in color throughout the glass. Heads is around 1 finger width with an aggressive pour. The head itself is slightly brown with a filmy look to it that looks very inviting.

Smell - There's a Rum Raisin smell with some caramel, maple & brown sugar, along with some mild floral hops There's a very slight spicy scent to it, which gives the beer a distinct feel. It's a pretty sweet smelling beer.

Taste - The malt is very strong with this one, probably one of the strongest malty backbones I've ever tasting. There are so many flavors going on here at once. There's the very sweet Rum Raisin at the front, followed by the brown sugar and caramel. The floral hops are slightly more prominent in here as well. There's a spicy twang to the flavor, which warms you up almost immediately.

Mouthfeel - It's fairly heavy bodied but the carbonation is well regulated so it adds more to the flavor. It feels fairly creamy but the word "smooth" better describes the overall mouthfeel.

Overall - While it's not the "Big Hoppy Monster" that it claims to be, this is still easily one of the tastiest beers I've ever had! The flavor is rich and complex, the aroma is very inviting and it's relatively easy to drink. Beer conessiours of all backgrounds will find something to like about this.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 04:01:46 | More by NuclearDolphin
Photo of bitterbeerguy


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

This brew pours a beautiful red-orange color. If you hold the beer to the light, there is the slightest bit of cloudiness. Based on there being a vintage date, I am guessing there might be some yeast in the bottle?

Aroma is intense. It is balanced between fig and caramel. In all honesty this reminds me of a Belgian dubbel. Smells like it has some alcohol in it.

Warming alcohol flavor throughout. With that said, the alcohol becomes just a little harsh as the beer warms. Raisin, fig, and brown sugar are the predominate flavors now that it has warmed a little. When the brew was right out of the fridge, there was the fainted hint of citrus.

Overall a great beer for a cold day. The harshness of the alcohol is just a little too much for me. Anyone who likes a good red ale should give this one a shot.

Thanks to the trader who shared it with me


Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 02:07:15 | More by bitterbeerguy
Photo of HopHeadRyan


2.48/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Deep cloudy brownish red

S - Sweet Sweet Malts...NO HOPS HERE AT ALL...if there were...they are long gone...so far not a Monster of any kind...maybe a MALTY MONSTER

T - Redicoulously malty sweet...cloying candied fruit killing my taste buds with only a hint of bitterness...No hops here either...

M - Good carbonation...Full bodied candied syrupy liquid...its like drinking coca cola syrup I imagine

Overall - Unless you can get this one straight from the brewery and super fresh...don't bother...

"Drink local or don't bother" (is my new slogan)!

Freshness is everything with any hoppy beer!


Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 03:13:50 | More by HopHeadRyan
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Shiner Bock pint glass. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a deep, dark amber color with a 1/4 inch head that quickly resolves to a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass with mold-patterned surface bubbles that indicate healthy yeast. Tiny lace bubbles stick to the glass inconsistently.

S- Smells of malt with potent alcohol fumes that, together, are balanced enough. So sweet, it smells almost like a barleywine. Some maple, oak and astringency wafts.

T- So many things coming on at once. First there's a blast of malty sweetness but then, immediately after, a considerable hop bite. These two sudden tastes spiral down to an aftertaste that honestly reminds me of Japanese food. That being said, I want to pair this one with some sushi.

M- Medium carbonation with a sharp, lingering bitterness from the intense hop profile. A bit thick due to the combination of hop oils and overt malt usage as well as some prickly twangs of booze that are not a problem at all.

O- At first, I didn't like this brew. I thought it was just another overzealous attempt at greatness for Terrapin. Glad I had a couple of bottles prior to reviewing it because, now that I've fully analyzed it, I see that this is a great beer that's multi-layered and full of depth.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2011 01:19:28 | More by Immortale25


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

12oz bottle poured into a large sniffter

Appearance : dark cloudy amber in color almost brown. Not alot of carbonation or head on this one even after a vigorous pour. A small ring of of bubbles is all this one can muster.

Smell : Smells like a big ipa not a red ale. Alot of typical hop aroms resinous evergreen and pine abound

Taste : subtle hop flavor profile. Very strong malt backbone. The alcohol is very present. Not much bitterness on the end.

Overall : I did enjoy this beer and would like another

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 00:19:18 | More by BUNZILLA
Photo of BennyL1


3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a NB globe

Deep reddish brown in color with a slowly fading tan head. Good lacing on this beer as well. Strong and sweet caramel malt aroma. Solid amount of hops too, good all around smell.

Taste is fairly well balanced between hops and the caramel malt. Tiny bit of booziness on the finish along with lingering hops. This brew has a medium body with the same carbonation and smooth.

OK brew, just not my cup of tea.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 03:47:26 | More by BennyL1
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

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

snagged this in NJ earlier today.

a - opened the bottle and filled my E snifter. poured a nice rich reddish orange with a generous almost yellow white head. head hung out a while and was fairly chunky.

s - hops mixed with brown sugar. has an almost brown ale smell to it.

t - much like the nose, brown sugar but not too hoppy. in fact leads with the malt.

m - thick and creamy. kind of dopplebock like. smooth and easy to drink. no real bite.

o - overall very solid beer, but not so much a big hoppy monster, more of a big malty monster. imperial red is exactly what you get with this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2011 00:30:22 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of Holland


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

A: dark reddish orange and brown color with off-white head that rises an inch off the beer. Some cloudiness, minimal lacing. and a sticky ring on the edge of the glass.

S: smells of spicy hops and yeast creating a pepper-like scent along with citrus, pine, and some sweet malt and caramel.

T: caramel malt balances with the hop bitterness and bite as well as that spicy flavor, which isn't as prevalent. Delicious. Leaves a fruity/malty flavor.

M: as expected for an "imperial" red ale, it's decently thick feeling and smooth, but it also has decent carbonation.

O: drinkable, if a little thick. Glad to have found one at Tipple's in Gainesville. Would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 02:22:45 | More by Holland
Photo of suspect

New York

3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Thanks to my pal Audi for bringing this up from Georgia. 2011 vintage.

A. Hazy copper color. I thought I poured this one properly but I ended up without any head at all. No lacing to speak of. A little more head would make this beer prettier.

S. strong piney hop presence with strong caramel malt undertones. The hefty ABV certainly makes itself known here as well.

T. Bitter hop profile mixed with huge sweet caramel and toffee notes mixed yet again with a whiskey presence that comes directly from the abv. Probably with time the booze will fade away leaving a really nice malt profile.

M. Carbonation is low in this brew. Medium body. Abv shows up here in the form of a nice warming feeling in the mouth, lips and belly.

O. This is a solid amber ale. It was unexpectedly strong but really complex and nicely balanced.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 02:36:05 | More by suspect
Photo of JRed

New Jersey

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

Pours dark red, almost brown with large foamy khaki head that lasts. Smells of earth, spices, nutmeg, faint chocolate, and vegetation. Booze is noticeable at first, and then an array of grass and veggies merges with spice and cocoa and a sharp alcohol note finishes the drink and lingers. Medium bodied with light carbonation. A slick mouthfeel that is quite medicinal. Tasty, warming, a big beer worth sipping on.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 02:21:18 | More by JRed
Photo of Kromes


4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy dark amber color with a thick tan colored head. Good lacing on glass.

S: A nice mix of citrus hops and toasted caramel malts.

T: More of the same. There is a huge citrus hop flavor up front that is balanced out by sweet toasted malts. The finish is not as bitter as I would have imagined, it's actually more sweet than bitter.

M: A heavier feel and low carbonation. Felt it could use a little more carbonation.

O: It is a nice beer, big flavors, but maybe too big at the moment. I'd like to see how the hop mellows with age. Might be a little more smooth in a year.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2011 20:43:25 | More by Kromes
Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 825 ratings.