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Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster - Terrapin Beer Company

Not Rated.
Terrapin Big Hoppy MonsterTerrapin Big Hoppy Monster

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

839 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 839
Reviews: 590
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 158
Gots: 36 | 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: 839 | Reviews: 590 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 18:58:34 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of russpowell


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 version

Pours ruddy brown with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Biscuitty, brown sugar & later

T: Bready with brown sugar & earthy hops. Follows dry with maple syrup. Finishes dry with subtle & earthy/lemon hops+ biscuitty malts, more hops please

MF: Chewy with low carbonation & medium/heavy body. Skews hoppy still. but more hops throughout

Drinks much better than previous try, not for hopheads

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2007 03:49:46 | More by russpowell
Photo of Kegatron


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

2007 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark amber with a finger width of caramel colored foam. The head retains very nicely and leaves nice sticky lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is very pungent with a smooth smelling mix of fresh hop citrus, sweet caramel, spices, and heat.

The taste is strong up front with a big bready body of sweet malt that gives way to a mix of hoppy pine resin, citrus zest, and spices. The mouthfeel is a fairly heavy medium with an almost viscous nature to it. Alcohol is present but not distracting, adding even more beef to the body.

I look foward to this beer every Fall. Everything about it is big and bold yet it still remains smooth and easily drinkable. Another great beer from Terrapin.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 17:23:14 | More by Kegatron
Photo of drabmuh


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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a goblet. I never comment on the labels of beer bottles in reviews but I'm totally a lover of the Terrapin labels, this one is excellent. There is no indicated freshness label on the bottle though. Beer is maroon, dark red almost brown. Forms a thin yellowish head that falls away almost immediately, minimal lacing on the glass. Carbonation moderate, beer appears to be thick.

This beer smells EXACTLY like a Imperial IPA. The label indicates that it is an Imperial Red ale (even though this really isn't a widely recognized style) and its CALLED the big hoppy monster, I would expect it to smell this way, but why not just make another IIPA? Tons of malt, alcohol, and hops. There is some funk in the smell as well, if you've had their Indian brown ale, then you know what I'm talking about. Here we go.

Surprisingly smooth. Feels acidic in the back of the mouth. Lots of hops bitterness, some sweetness up front but its less than I expected. I can't taste the alcohol of this one, and I thought I would. Second taste time. Finishes completely, almost no aftertaste. Some of the alcohol comes a millisecond after I swallow but it fades. That funk in the smell is in the front of the mouth in the flavor but it is not distracting and does not detract from the beer at all.

Drinkability is high, especially taking into consideration the ABV of this particular beer. It is completely unoffensive and well balanced. As far as how it fits into its style catagory, this is definitely an outsider, an interesting deviation from traditional "Amber Ale" but this is one of those beers that cannot be pigeon holed into a single style. I would recommend it and drink it again. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2009 04:04:25 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Slatetank


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

On tap at Cobblestone's on 1/6/10.

A - A gently hazed dark copper/bronze w/ thick pale cream. The beading is tight w/ a speckling of lace that holds on the glass

S - An earthy pine hop aroma w/ slighly fruity ester -dried cherry aroma w/ mild yeasty odor. The nose has a mild malt and alcohol influence

M - A mildly sweet and moderately high bitterness in the feel w/ moderate carbonation and semi-dry finish

T - A strong piney hop taste w/ subtle fruity yeast which is supported well by the light caramel mal backing. The taste has subtle pepper and mild alcohol influence. It seems lightly nutty w/ a caramel hint in the finish

D - A solid ale, it is satisfying, but the sweetness/alcohol might get to me in multiples as it is 8.3%

Serving type: on-tap

01-07-2010 14:59:37 | More by Slatetank
Photo of WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a hazy ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a kick ass malt punch that boasts of burnt toffee and bisquit malts. It's breadlike with a ton of hop in there as well. The taste is awesome. This is a thick and tastey brew with lots of caramel malts and a nice hop balance. It goes down smooth and finishes a bit warm and bitter. The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a wonderful brew with a ton of flavor and hop character; a fine drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2007 22:05:51 | More by WesWes
Photo of Mora2000


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

I struggled on whether to review this but decided to anyway. This beer was bottled Fall 2008 and consumed Dec. 9, 2009. I doubt this was what the brewer intended the beer to taste like but it was still enjoyable.

Pours reddish-brown with a dark, creamy head. Aroma is strong caramel malt, with a sweet smell. The aroma has a tea-like quality to it. The taste is heavy on the caramel malt and very boozy. Lots of malt sweetness and the tea-like attributes are in the flavor as well. Little to no hops are evident in the flavor or the aroma. Similar to a barleywine due to the sweetness. Very drinkable beer with a medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 20:08:12 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Rifugium


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

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philadelphia, PA

Somewhat resembled a Scottish ale or barleywine. Not bad. Poured out reddish-brown with a small beige head that left an oily lace. Lots of pine and citrus hops in the nose, caramel malts and some light fruits. Sweet with caramel in the taste, earthy, with citrusy hops flowing through mid-palate; pine and sugar, and a bit of noticeable alcohol taste. Medium mouthfeel, and a bit filmy. Overall quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 20:26:47 | More by Rifugium
Photo of mdfb79

New York

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip. Received as an extra from cwguy5; thanks man. Not sure of a bottling date but bottle says 2011 vintage.

a - Pours a dark reddish brown color with two inches of off white head and moderate carbonation. Light lacing and an inch of retention throughout.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, fruity malts, and light citrus hops. Very malty, with some light hops, but nice.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, fruity malts, bready malts, toasted malts, alcohol, and light citrus hops. Again, very malty.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth but a tiny bit of alcohol come through here.

o - Overall a pretty good red ale. Very malty and not as hoppy as I would have thought, but still very nice. Would have it again.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 01:10:51 | More by mdfb79
Photo of jwc215


4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish-brown with a thin, lasting head.

The smell is of floral citrus with roasted grain and a hint of toffee.

The taste is of citrusy orange peel and grapefruit immediately supported by a thick, rich malt. Sweet brown sugar and caramel cut into the bitterness, but leave the citrus taste in control. Very balanced for the style, while clearly remaining a double IPA. The chewy, citrusy hops remain solidly pronounced, but a good malt backbone gives it a nice body and complex flavors.

It feels creamy, rich and chewy. The body remains steadfast. Thick, yet incredibly smooth. Just the right amount of carbonation to make it glide along the tongue, leaving the body intact and plenty of flavors in the mouth.

Incredibly drinkable, almost too much so, as the undetectable alcohol can creep in. Unfortunately, I only had this one or I would have easily been tempted to grab more. A smooth, delicious drink to say the least.

Thanks to SilentSabre for sending me this enjoyable brew!

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2006 01:50:30 | More by jwc215
Photo of Gueuzedude


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

Pours a brilliantly clear, deep ruby reddish color. It pours pretty viscously and produces a light brown tinged tan colored head that is initially about one-finger thick. The aroma is of course over the top hoppy. Notes of grapefruit leap out of the glass, it is joined by a bit of raw herbal hop character and a bit of malt even manages to peek through after some extending sniffing of the aroma. The malt aromatics are quite dry and toasty, but overall the aroma is sweet, the unnoticed sweet caramel notes tend to only accentuate the citrus aromas that dominate this beer.

The taste is medium full, with a noticeable sweetness up front. The sweetness amplifies the fruity citrus character, but there is a lot of other hop notes in this beer. This thing has a fairly aggressive raw hoppiness to it that make the tongue start to tingle, and eventually just coats the mouth with a lingeringly astringent bitterness. Amazingly enough this beer is pretty well balanced, a ton of malt character was packed into this beer as well. It is not all that noticeable, but it really helps to contain the hops, which otherwise would make it seem like by tongue had been repeatedly flagellated with ripe hop bines. The more I think about it, the more I realize that the malt character in this beer is huge, this beer is definitely approaching a Barley Wine. As the beer warms a bit it begins to pick up some candied orange peel like notes

I was hankering for a hop fix this evening and this beer certainly hit the spot. Both the hops and malt character are so well integrated here, at least for a self-proclaimed over the top hop monster, which this beer certainly is. The hop character is ample and all over the place, but it is held in check just enough that it does not become too raw and abrasive. While I do like the balance between malt and hop, I would have to say that my one complaint is that this beer is a bit too thick. I prefer my double IPAs to be a bit lighter, and easy drinking. This beer is damn tasty though, so that is only a minor nit.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2006 03:06:59 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -1.5%

11-18-2011 19:23:52 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of GClarkage


3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07/09/07- Received from BA Talisker as a generous gift...plus three other beers to be had later!

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness code, but has vintage 2006 on the neck label. Poured into my Full Sail pint glass.

Appearance- Murky reddish-brown in hue. 3/4 inch head upon pour with a light ring afterwards. Very light lace trails left behind.

Smell- Granted it doesn't smell like a DIPA to me, but it smells more like an English Barleywine, which I love. Super rich caramel scent with a minor in the hops dept.

Taste- Sweet and bready caramel malt flavor with a light faded and muted pine hop taste.

Mouthfeel- Thicker, chewy and sinewy. Medium carbonation level. Slightly creamy going down as well. Suprising bitter aftertaste, considering you can't taste the hops while drinking.

Drinkability- Good tasting beer for what it has become. Big Hoppy Monster after a year of aging becomes Big Malty Monster. Tastes pretty good this way, but I would loved to have had some hop action to go with it.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2007 04:53:38 | More by GClarkage
Photo of corby112


3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark ruby red/copper almost brown color with golden ruby edges and a two finger frothy yellowish-beige head that has excellent retention, only very slowly fading into a thin cap and lasting ring that coats the glass with lacing on it's way down.

Nice citrus hop aroma with a large pine presence and a very prominent caramel malt and rye. This rye and caramel malt unfortunately take away from the hops but they're still there.

Earthy bitter and dry hops up front that are immediately countered by the sweet malt and rye backbone. Slightly smokey with a bit of roasty chocolate and caramel as well as some nice alcohol warmth. The bitterness does linger over the thick medium body into a very dry finish but this beer is a bit too malty for it's own good. It tastes more like a hoppy old ale or barleywine. Very dry piny finish is nice though.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2009 04:59:09 | More by corby112
Photo of weeare138


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

Thanks to hopdog for this...
Appears a reddish tone with spotty lacing being left behind.
Smell is of pine and citrus and sweet malt.
Taste is of caramel and sugary dough with nice hops coming through.
Mouthfeel is sticky with hop resin and sugary standing out.
Drinkability...very nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2005 03:53:44 | More by weeare138
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

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

12 oz 2008 bottle poured into a nonic.

A: Pours a slightly darker than expected clear deep amber, reddish color with a dark tan, yellowed thick head. Great retention on head and tremendous thick sticky webs of lacing. Lots of tiny bubbles of carbonation.
S: Citrusy hops almost overpowered by sticky caramel sweetness with a slight background of alcohol.
T: Very full, creamy body with light bitterness and carbonation. Very chewy and rich with a lingering sweetness in the finish. Very strong grainy, malt smooth body with not quite as strong a hoppy punch as expected, but I'm not complaining, very nicely balanced. My favorite beer from Terrapin so far, too bad I can't regular find any of these beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 02:08:26 | More by yourefragile
Photo of tempest


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

I dont know about "hoppy monster," but this is still a pretty good beer. It's a hazy red with tan head a nice lacing. Smells and tastes of sweetened fruit, cherries and raspberries, with a citrus twist. Tastes like there might be some rye in there too. The hops aren't too big, but still have a pleasant lingering quality. A smooth drink, not too heavy for the abv. This is what I'd call a nice example of a big American beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2007 22:43:23 | More by tempest
Photo of zestar


3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

05-31-2014 08:26:10 | More by zestar
Photo of akorsak


3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle of the 2006 release from a trade with DeaconBluez. As you'll see throughout my review, I treated this like a Brown Ale.

A: The IPA is surprisingly dark, looking more like a brown ale than an IPA variant. Some dark ruby red emerges from the bottom of the glass. The head was almost a finger and a half or so and has left a thin film all along the sides of the glass.

S: The nose is in line with the color, showing off a toffee and biscuit malt nose that have an inkling of hop undertone on the back end.

T: Big hop bitterness defines the initial impressions oof a sip. That initial bitterness is a brief flash in the pan that quickly steps away to allow the real star to come through. The toffee and nut malts are bold throughout the glass, providing a dry semi-sweet flavor that never allows the hops to come back out. The finish continues with the graininess, more cereal bomb than hop bomb without a doubt.

M: The mouthfeel is more amber or brown ale than IPA, clearing the formula has changed since that long-ago first review. The alcohol is well hidden, lending to a nice brown ale body.

D: The ale threw me for a loop, as I expected an IPA. That being said, this is a pretty good facsimile of an English brown ale, the flavors are nutty and strong and the alochol is reasonably hidden.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2007 01:50:24 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer Best enjoyed Before dating on the label "Vintage 08 BB" huh? Oh well they are trying to give the good beer consumer some info, just need to work out the bugs and make things more user friendly somehow... Pours cloudy dark reddish amber slight dark tan head, quickly goes to a thin film and the lace left on the glass is best described as simply minor. Grainy hop nose. I love hoppy brew and this is shows its hoppy character, not in the aroma or hop flavor department, but just slightly later in the experience in the bitterness area. This offering is crunchingly bitter. Quite an enjoyable experience when the sweet early malts are added to the equation. . Nice stuff, a ballsy high octane beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 23:17:36 | More by Billolick
Photo of stakem


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

Pours an amber red color that has a little bit of yeast haze. It has a finger and a half of tanned head that is actually more orange in color than tan... Lacing is all over the place and clinging to just about everything it touches. Aroma of this beer is a pungent blast of hops ranging from fruity citrus to pine and spice. Blending well with the hop character is the malt sweetness that flirts with being almost like caramel. Taking a sip, you get a wack of malty sweet goodness and a lingering taste of the spicey hop bitterness. As the beer warms, the alcohol comes through more in both the aroma and the taste but it is a welcomed addition that pairs well adding complexity without overpowering the other features. Feel of this beer is quite heavy and carb is a perfect middle of the road. The lingering aftertaste changes from bitter to sweet with each sip. This beer was really enjoyable and is very drinkable. It really increases my fondness of imperial reds.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2009 22:16:03 | More by stakem
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass) best if enjoyed by vintage 09 BB
A- This beer has a dark dens brown body with trails of microbubbles in slow motion supporting a creamy tan head that last a good bit.
S- The aroma of cereal is followed by a big pine hops with a cream hint. The pine flavor seems to grow as the beer warms. T- This beer has a big piny citrus hops flavor and a nice dark toasted malt flavor with a cream quality to it. The hops have a one and woody quality to them with a pine full finish with a slight resin flavor lingering after each sip.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat noted.
D- This beer has a nice full hop flavor with a good malt flavor supporting and some dark malt notes and some nice depth to the hops flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 14:53:40 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Zorro


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

Sampled through the efforts of DeaconBluez and the BCG BIF.

Pours an extremely dark beer for the style. Coke a cola brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light. A clear beer with no head formation.

Smell is light and VERY fruity to the nose. Aroma of menthol, pines and plums are the strongest. Lesser aromas of citrus rinds and brown sugar. Fairly spicy too mostly black pepper and cinnamon.

Taste is sweet malty and fruity with brown sugar and hops in the first sip. Good hops flavor behind the wall of sweetness. Lots of grapefruit and pine with a brisk lime bitter snap at the end. Long lasting bitter after taste without any of the usual woodiness. Lighter flavors of hops are in this too most unusually is lemon and lime in the sweet part of the taste.

Mouthfeel is good.

A very drinkable strong IPA. Probably too bitter for a regular beer drinker this is still good.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2006 23:17:21 | More by Zorro
Photo of Georgiabeer


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

This is the 2006 version of Big Hoppy Monster I'm reviewing.

Pours a dark garnet color wwith a fairly short head.

The smell is fruity and beefy, with spicy hops and rich malt.

The taste is rich and very grainy and filling- like drinking a grain soup with malt and hop accents. Richer in malt but less hoppy than past versions.

Mouthfeel is big, rich and creamy.

A little heavy to drink many of.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2006 17:58:14 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Wasatch


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

Thanks to blitz134 for this one.

Pours a dark amber color, nice carbonation, nice small foamy tan head which lasts awhile, nice islands/sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is pretty hoppy with some sweet malts/slight citrus and a nice touch of caramel. The taste pretty much stays with the nose, hoppy/sweet malty, with a nice bitter bite in the finish. Medium body, well rounded brew. Very drinkable, a very nice offering from Terrapin. Thanks again for this one Chris.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2006 01:46:48 | More by Wasatch
Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 839 ratings.