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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.

844 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 844
Reviews: 590
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.84%
Wants: 160
Gots: 38 | 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: 844 | Reviews: 590 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of johnnnniee
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Has a smallish head that disappears quickly. Aroma is surprisingly malty with caramel and biscuit aromas as well as a citrus hop aroma. I was expecting an over the top hop bomb. Taste is more caramel and bitter resinous citrusy hops. Very well balanced beer. Another great brew from Terrapin, my favorite brewery from Georgia.

johnnnniee, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of Brad007
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear red color with a thin head into my glass.

Aroma is full of malt and grassy hops, which is highly enticing.

Taste is smooth and full of sweet malt at first and then followed by grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is full of grassy hop and sweet malt flavors. Smooth. Leaves a very nice hop bite at the back of the throat. Not too overpowering either.

A very nice example of the style that due to the ABV, should be in its' own category. I can't quite tell what the hops are right off the bat but it's definitely one of the better examples of the style that I've had.

Brad007, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased in Raleigh, $3. This beer was much darker than expected, more brown than amber. The smell and taste were also more barleywine than amber ale or DIPA or whatever it says on the label. I suppose there was a huge malt bill balancing the large amount of hops used on this, and the result was more similar to Bigfoot or other hoppy barleywines than it was to an amber ale (even a hopped up amber ale). I guess I'm in the minority that didn't care for this beer too much.

TurdFurgison, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, shipped courtesy of Blackie

appearance: poured into large mouth wine glass...garnet-chestnut body, light beige head with nice bubbly lacing...obviously a dark and rich body for what is classified as a DIPA, but of course the brewer calls it an imperial red

smell: rich and syrupy aromas, molasses, bitter pine/citrus hops apparent in the background but not overpowering in the aroma, sweet and smooth caramel malt

taste: I like this, but im a little baffled on its 91 rating, especially classified as a dipa...flavour is caramel/molasses malt dominated in my opinion, caramel apple, bitter pine hops come through, light boozy nature...pretty good but not much of a dipa by my definition of the style

mouthfeel: smooth and rich, light bitterness

drinkability: good

dirtylou, Oct 27, 2006
Photo of Bitterbill
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle in a trade wit...err...this is the one bottle that I moved around and I'm not certain who I got it from. I (think* it was RustyDiamond but if I'm wrong, let me know and I'll give proper credit.

This pours from 12oz bottle a clear deep amber with about a 1 finger head of foam that does shrink some but by the end of session, there's still a good 1/2" layer there. Nice.

The smell is nice and hoppy(citrus) fruity, and there's a good touch of caramel malt there as well.

The taste has a nice hoppy flavour of citrus that isn't overly bitter along with a more than ample caramel malt and some toasted grain tatses. Very nice, particulary with the hops; the ones they are using bring something different to the table as I say, again, there's a very fruity flavour to them and they aren't what I'm used to. Well done indeed.

It has a nice thickish mouthfeel to it and the carbonation is on the low side; it finishes bittersweet and lingers on some time after the swallow.Yikes! This is 8.3%abv?? You could have fooled me as there's almost no trace of it during my session. Very drinkable and a brew I'd love to visit again.

Bitterbill, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of jrallen34
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into my Orval glass.

The beer pours a very dark amber almost brown, but red in the light. The head is about one finger of light tan head that has good retention and great lacing.

The aroma is on the lighter side and plain. It shows off some very light hops with a little grapefruit.

The taste is very similar to an ipa, starts off a little sweet and some nice hops. The finish kinda kills it for me, its got an almost rye hop finish which I don't really like. A little pine as well.

The feel is medium bodied, a slight dry finish.

jrallen34, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

KAF, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of avalon07
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a reddish hue and a fairly clear consistency. There was a good half inch of foamy, long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: The hops dominated the smell, though you do get malt and some citrus mixed in as well.

T: Lots of hops, some toasted malt and citrus flavor. Well balanced and packs a bit of a punch.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Full-bodied.

D: On the whole, this is a tasty, well-made beer. It has lots of character and is very drinkable.

avalon07, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of thagr81us
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a standard shaker. Poured a dark red brown with a two finger off-white almost tan head. Maintained phenomanal lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of big sweet malt, caramel, and subtle hop. The flavor was of massive caramel malt, subtle dark chocolate, subtle cream, and subtle sweet hop on the followthrough. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew to put it simply. The flavors were really well balanced with the malt and all of the other bitter flavors that show up toward the end. Goes down nice and easy as well. This is a must try for any Red Ale or IPA fan out there.

thagr81us, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautifully clear ruby-brown color with a fine-bubbled lingering tan head. A nice looking beer.

Mmmmm, smells great! A citrusy hop explosion. This has gotta be dry hopped. Has a large malty backbone, but is still just reeks of grapefruit, lemon, pancakes and clover honey.

Definitely a hoppy monster. Uber-fresh and crisp. Plenty of maltiness, but the hops shine sooo brightly like polaris! Kind of reminds me of Lagunitas lucky 13. Just a fantastic beer...well done Terrapin!

twiggamortis420, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with a tan head. Aromas of hops and a small sweet malt too. In the taste, a mellow hop presence and a nice maltiness as well. A nice smooth mouthfeel and a dry, sweet small hoppy aftertaste. Big hoppy nose, but not too much hop in taste which makes it nice and smooth. Hides the 8.3% ABV very well, never would have guessed. A very nice beer.

OWSLEY069, Oct 25, 2007
Photo of claspada
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aromas are pretty darn good. A juicy blend of citrus hops accompanied by a nice floral presence. There's a solid malt backbone as well; notes of rather sweet caramel and some subtle hints of biscuit.

The tastes remind me a lot of the Rye Squared but a tad more malty and less bitter. Floral & citrus juiciness throughout. Malts are fairly prominent but aren't he main focus by a long shot. Caramels mostly, with some hints of biscuit/breadiness.

A little bit more than medium bodied; it has a penchant for sticky resin (a great deal of grittiness, also). Alcohol is appreciable, but not cloying; more a general warming sensation that anything. Caramel & a modest bitterness linger.

Mouthfeel is fairly syrupy, but expected because of the ABV. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer but don't need to have it again. Probably the best "heavy" red ale I have had. Terrapin really knows what they are doing and understands what it takes to make good balanced beers and this is no exception.

claspada, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of tavernjef
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Heavily hazy body of dark oranged teak wood. Potholed styrofoamed top of lightly yellowed froth that stands nearly an inch. Keeps forever and day while leaving a whole heaping mess of lace across the glass in thick intricate weaves of strings, tiny pin holes, spots, and sheets.

Aroma is lofty and nose welcoming with an unexpectedly sweet tone of citrus, cherry fruity dryness mixed with a deep alluring caramel/toffee twist and a pine-sided loft of spruce wood and needles. As it warms it tenederizes the pine into a lightly fluffy-like grapefruit peel zest, yet maintains its overall woody effect and sweetness.

Taste is big and balanced well with a very nice sweetness of rounded fruity stuff and soft caramel. Overall this sucker is quite smooth with just the right amount of balance in the hops. Complexingly subtle and big with lovely balanced flavors. Descriptively hard to distinguish as it grows in acceptance quickly across the palate. The sweetness is quite nice and more jam and jelly-like but of cookie dough likeness then anything. Fruity and cherryish with dripping caramel drops, vanilla, and brown sugar. Hops are delicate but forward with a simple and subtle balance within with a smallish citrus puff of dried grapefruit, a pile of pine backs up the finish with an ever so faintly placed amount of dryness and barely a nudge of any bitterness. Only a bit of hop oil warmth remains late while the sweetness lingers.

Body is medium to full, smooth, quick, and round. Balanced very well with the sweetness keeping the overall element of flavor letting the hops make their mark when needed. Nearly perfect; as I was hoping for a bit bit more in hop complexity. None the less, this is a spectacular beer built by Terrapin. And wholey drinkable by many empty bottles sitting around.

Thanks again to cashew70 for the hook up of Terrapin!

tavernjef, Feb 22, 2007
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, opaque, slightly reddish brown, almost mahogany, with a thick and fine-bubbled pale tan head. Hoppy aroma has just a hint of cloves. Flavor is quite hoppy but not too bitter, rather lip-smacking, with a spicy hint. Texture is tingly, fizzy and lively and leaves a pleasantly hoppy finish.

Cyberkedi, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of DefenCorps
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle received as extra from goryshkewych. Thanks a bunch! 2007 vintage, poured into my Duvel tulip

A: Very very deep red with ruby highlights. 1/2 cm dark beige head.

S: Pine and citrus hops with a lot of pineapple. There's also some burnt caramel and syrupy sweetness (in a good way)

T: Hoppy for a regular amber and under-hopped for an imperial red. In any case, the hops are pleasantly biting with definite pine notes. The caramel sweetness comes through really well with a slight rum note. The alcohol starts to peep through on the finish but is in check

M: The body on the finish is a little thin for my liking but the carbonation is pleasant and tingling

D: This is very very drinkable for the ABV

DefenCorps, Apr 15, 2008
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

WOLFGANG, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev -1.5%

barnzy78, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of Durge
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bottled brew pours into the pint glass at room temperature for a deep dark rosey mahogany color with a giant oatmeal colored head and gobs of lacing. The aroma is hearty nutty malt and fruity pine hops. My first taste brings a thick malt and sweet piney rye. It's mid-bodied plus with a nice grainy tone, warm and full flavored, vaguely resinous. It's quite drinkable for an imperial but there is a hint of alcohol that gives it some warmth and gusto. A delicious taste experience. Bravo.

Durge, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of gford217
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally get around to rating this local gem.

Pours a deep copper with a short-lived tan head that leaves bit of lacing.

The aroma has a big pine hops kick up front but immediately gives way to a big sweet caramel malt backbone. Interesting nose.

The taste is just as interesting and complex as the aroma. The floral hops and sweet caramel malts fight for dominance in the taste - pine and caramel in a death match for the benefit of my tongue...nice. Great taste.

The mouthfeel is sticky with hops and the malt sweetness with good carbonation.

I've been drinking this for years and have just now gotten around to reviewing it, but this is great, great stuff. I'm going to stock my fridge right now...

gford217, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of cjgator3
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 edition. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark amber color with a tan head. The aroma is sweet malt, caramel and piney hops. For such a big beer, I was hoping for more hops in the nose. Instead, the malt dominates the aroma. The taste is similar to the aroma with a nice slightly toasted malt base, thankfully the hops play more of a role in the taste than in the aroma. Overall, this is a pretty solid seasonal offering from Terrapin that is recommended.

cjgator3, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of KevinGordon
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

KevinGordon, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of illidurit
3.25/5  rDev -20%
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.

illidurit, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of sweemzander
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic. Thanks to beerwolf77 for this one!

(A)- Pours a dark and cloudy mahogany color that produced a light tan head. Bits of lacing here and there.

(S)- A damp woody pine up front. Bits of lemon with a caramel-like sweetness.

(T)- Same as the smell only with bits of a fig and prune-like background as well.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Rather malty with an aged hop feel to it. Rather thick and almost chewy too.

(D)- I can see how the name would fit this if it were fresher, but now it is more of a malt monster; still a unique and new take on the style.

sweemzander, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

DmanGTR, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish red with a solid offwhite head that left a lace ring down the glass. A great smell of citric floral hops and some sweet malts, more of an IPA smell than red ale as the hops are that strong. A strong, medium body that is chewey with a great mix of hops for a citric fruit taste and a dry backbite of some roasted, bread and caramel malts (caramel gives a little sweetness). A husky beer thanks to these malts that is a little sticky and sweet as well as the fruity, herbal hop bitterness that is a great sipper.

clayrock81, Oct 21, 2009
Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 844 ratings.