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Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster - Terrapin Beer Company

Not Rated.
Terrapin Big Hoppy MonsterTerrapin Big Hoppy Monster

Educational use only; do not reuse.

858 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 858
Reviews: 590
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.86%
Wants: 162
Gots: 45 | 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:
Beer added by: rajendra82 on 10-09-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Imperial Red Ale.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 858 | Reviews: 590 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of cpetrone84
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A-Couldy and very dark amber color
S-very faint with hints of sweet malt and some citrus
T-sweet caramel malt up front, citrus hops with hints of piney resign and a very smooth mouthfeel.
D-very smooth and hides the alcohol well, a little syrupy and thick

Photo of illidurit
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear maroon with a modest tan head. Leaves plenty of lacing with substantial retention.

Malt is the overriding aroma, with a huge dose of burnt brown sugar and a hint of booze. There are some subdued hop notes that manifest as herbal tinges.

Taste isn't really true to this beer's name. Malt is clearly the dominant flavor, with hops playing a minor role. The burnt character comes out in the flavor as well as the aroma. The hops come out in the finish as a bitter, tannic, tea-like note.

This beer is way overcarbonated, and not hoppy enough. Alcohol comes out with warmth and makes this the second (of two) Terrapin beers that I find overrated.

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a pint

A somewhat hazy reddish amber with a huge yellow tinted cap. Solid retention and chunky spider web lacing.

A burst of pine and citrus with toffee and burnt toast. There is a good dose of booze in the aroma as well. Pretty broad nose, very inviting.

Pine needles and lightly toasted toffee up front with a rush of earthy sweetness through the middle. The finish is bitter grapefruit and booze. So, apparently the "big" in the title is in relation to the booze and not the hops. The hops did not blow me away by any means.

Smooth with a medium body and mild carbonation. A bit slick due to the boozey finish, but not in a bad way. The amount of booze took me by surprise though.

This is a nicely hopped amber ale with a hearty kick of booze. Not something that could be easily sessioned.

Photo of st9647v3
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of ArrogantB
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received as an extra from Ding (thanks!). I poured this monster into a pint glass. The smell was hoppy. The color was dark, dark, red-brown with a substantial, pillowy cream head. The taste was really good with the malts showing up more than the hops. I thought this had almost a barleywine characteristic to it. Very good brew.

Photo of maximum12
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to sholland119 for throwing this into our most recent spring trade. This one's been on my want list for quite a while - what hop head doesn't want to get into a BIG HOPPY MONSTER? Well, I do, at least. Onwards.

Big H. is a deep, clear red, & I've always liked redheads. Smell is surprisingly lacking in hops, just a head-clearing sweetness.

This brew is big & brawny. Despite the moniker, the malt is in the front row with a battering ram. It's very thick, on par with some Russian Imperials, but lacking the cloying sweetness I don't enjoy on malt heavy beers; perhaps the rearguard of hops are evening things out. I'm having some trouble with the taste subtexts here, but they're nice.

Just a wee bit on the heavy side. Only about 1/4 of the bottle is gone, & my stomach is already beginning to fill up.

The advertised hoppiness seemed to be almost completely absent, but it's in line with everything I've enjoyed from Terrapin, that is to say, very good.

Photo of DmanGTR
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of whartontallboy
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of jophish17
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of blackie
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
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 mynie
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hugely pretty dark, candy red. Like a beautiful woman's fake hair. Just--I've never seen a beer that was this goddamn red. It's really a sight.

Smells of like ten different hops all at once, all very strong. Funk hops, citrus hops, lemony hops, and very light gooey pine hops. Nice.

Tastes of very strong, varied hops, middle of the road strong, syrupy malt, and an unfortunately off aftertaste that's a little bit like a wet animal. This happens sometimes with very hoppy beers, and it's a damn shame.

Good but imperfect.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.61/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours dark brown with dense head and good lacing.

S-Surprised by the smell. This beer wreaks of dark chocolate and toffee. Hop aroma is muted by the big malts and a prominent alcohol aroma.

T-Definately not a big hoppy monster but still tastes nice. Big caramel malt combined with dark fruits. Booze is quite noticeable. Much maltier than expected. Subtle hops round out the taste.

M-Medium bodied. Creamy and slick.

D-A boozy drink. Happy with just one of these.

Not what I was expecting but it is a unique taste.

Photo of Pencible
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a clear, dark copper with tan head. It smelled like caramel malt and copper hops, with bready yeast and a bit of prune. It tasted like earthy copper hops and roasted barley, with some caramel and yeast and a bit of floral hops. It was oily and somewhat thick, with a bit of carbonation and a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this wasn't the hoppy monster I was expecting, but it did have a nice malty taste for an amber ale. The flavor wasn't terribly clean, although that might improve with some age? Of course, that would fade the hops that the brewers probably intended to showcase. Very confusing. Either way, it had nice body and hid the alcohol very well, so it was surprisingly easy to drink. This doesn't hold a candle to Nugget Nectar, but it's still an enjoyable beer in its own right.

Photo of Holland
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of muskiesman
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of tpd975
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a ruby red color with a big bubbly foamy white head and tons of lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malt and biscuit. Not much when it comes to hops. Sweet malts is what this one is all about.

T - Tons of gooey sweet melted caramel, toasted pine nuts, butter and biscuity malt. There are no hops to speak of at all in this brew. Sweet, Sweet, and more sweetness here.

M - Medium body and with an insane amount of malt.

D - One of the maltiest beers I have ever had, no trace of hops.

Overall: I love Terrapin fist and foremost. This one has a little age as it's now pushing one year old. The malt punch in this one is out of sight. If you are a lover of malt this is the one for you. That being said I am not. I appreciate it for what it is but give me a RyePA any day.

Photo of alexgash
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle vintage '07.

Mostly clear ruby orange body with a sticky, clingy, dirty khaki head. Juicy, piny, citrusy, menthol hop nose with a malt backdrop of boozy fruit, toffee, and butterscotch.

Taste starts with toasted grain bitterness. Herbal, piny hop bitterness kicks in. Sweet fruitcake, toffee, butterscotch, and hints of anise mid-palate. Resinous, sappy hop and rummy alcohol burn into the long, mostly bitter, numbing finish. Medium-full body with a syrupy feel. A nice, mouth-numbing hop bomb with enough malt backbone to keep you coming back.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 12/21/2009. Bottle. Pours an amber brown with a thick off-white head. Aroma of sweet apple, caramel malt, citrus and tropical fruits, and a touch of cinnamon (?). Flavor is quite malty with some fruity notes upfront and a bready malt (particularly pretzel malt) finish. Not your typical IIPA but quite good with some interesting malt flavors. I don't get the sweet/sticky notes that other raters have reported.

Photo of Reagan1984
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to bhalter8 for providing this in a trade. I'm happy to have had the opportunity to try this.

Even with an aggressive pour there was only a scant finger head that formed atop this beer. It faded rather quickly and left a very small amount of foam on top. The beer was a deep ruby colored brew with some nice clarity. Some sparse carbonation and equally sparse lacing.

The aroma was a nice mixture of fruit and sweet grains. Some pineapple. Smells like a red.. I'm not sure what that means, but it does. Slight spice... cinnamon

My first impression was that it's sweeter than I had anticipated. However, the flavor grew on me and I'm intrigued by the caramel malt flavors that come in towards the end of the flavor profile. Some grain, cracker flavors and deep caramel. The lingering flavors are both some hop notes and also a bread like tone. You can sense the higher alcohol level.

Nice beer, just not quite as Hoppy as I would have imagined given the beer's name.

Mouth feel is just short if syrupy due to the sweetness. Carbonation is very muted

Nicely drinkable

Photo of jfcaa193
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of cbutova
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from a few nights back. Pours out a dark crimson red with a two finger head that has decent retention. Leaves a coat of fine lacing on my glass as well as a cloud and ring atop the beer. The smell is a bit hoppy, seems like they have faded. I still get fruity/citrus and pine notes from the hops. A great caramel malt backs the hops as well as some brown sugar and light roast malt notes. The smell needs a bit more strength. The taste is also faded of hops but still the fruit and pine comes in. Caramel malt backbone is great with the hops. There is some dark/roast taste with some brown sugar notes in there. A good balanced taste with no huge flavors to ruin it. The mouthfeel is moderate bodied and carbonated, suiting the flavors well. The creaminess is very nice. A bit of warmth hits the tongue and makes for a nice mouthfeel. The price was OK and the balance/taste of the beer was great. The ABV was very well hidden. Not a session beer but a good one. I would like to try this one ultra-fresh or on-tap some time.

Photo of ShemRahBoo
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Gatordaddy
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of deapokid
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 858 ratings.