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Terrapin Oaked Big Hoppy Monster - Terrapin Beer Company

Not Rated.
Terrapin Oaked Big Hoppy MonsterTerrapin Oaked Big Hoppy Monster

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

110 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 110
Hads: 559
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 27.84%
Wants: 14
Gots: 44 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company visit their website
Georgia, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  10.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: GJ40 on 11-07-2008

75 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Terrapin Oaked Big Hoppy Monster Alström Bros
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Reviews: 110 | Hads: 559
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger tan head on a on a maroon mahagony body. Nice lacing.

S: some nice cirtrus and candy flavored on a background oak with nice malt backbone.

T: Tart and tangy related tHe citrus and candy flavors with oak malt and bourbon in the finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: I honestly don't recall the regular hoppy monster to compare but this is a typical oak barrel aged beer.

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is hazy dark amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that died down and left a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Sweet aromas of caramel malts are present in the nose along with hints of floral hops.
T: The taste has flavors of caramel malts, notes of oak and hints of floral hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a nice IPA if you like the combination of stickiness and oak. It's not too difficult to drink.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a dark amber color and a perky head that webs as it declines

Smell: Caramel and oak, with a hoppy undertone

Taste: Opens with a bit of caramel and brown sugar but quickly moves in a woody, bitter direction; after the swallow, the oaky flavors are a bit over the top, with a fruity bitterness underneath; just a hint of residual sweetness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; the woody flavors dry out the mouth; some warmth

Drinkability: Pretty nice and very different but the wood is a bit too dominating for my palate

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Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great to finally have this oaked.Poured into a standard pint a clear rich amber with a thinner slightly off white head atop that lasted well.Toastiness and brownsugar notes slightly out weigh the resiny hops,faint toast from the oak is there as well.A mix of caramel and brown sugar sweetness mixed with piney hops,again the oak is subdued wich might be a good thing.It's solid, not amazing by any strech but just a good oak aged hopped up "big" amber.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Barleys tonight. I had waited a long time to be able to try this one, so while we ate downstairs, I made sure to go up for me beer on this evening. Served straight from the tap into my pint glass, this one was consumed on 11/28/2008.

The pour was very nice, A rich looking dark brown with a nearly completely opaque look to it. Nice head of maybe an inch formed on the top and hung around for the entire session, only dropping down slightly as I finished the last half. Nice side glass presence as well.

The aroma was loaded with hops. Deep, rich, resin filled pine hops were the dominant note here for a good long while. Nice sweet malts buried underneath here started to show through with a candy like sweetness after a little while. Nice hints of vanilla as it hit room temperture. The flavor though, I could not have asked for better here. Rich and very hopped big red ale right out of the gate, this one really needed to warm up though, so I sat it aside for about twenty minutes. By the time I came out, WOW. This one blew the doors off of what I was expecting. Rich hoppy notes, swirled inside of candied sugar and a huge vanilla and oak flavor. Just enormous depth to the profile here. Unrelenting hops just kept pushing the envelope as the vanilal and oak chips just tore through your plate. Rich medium bodied feel was everything i thought it would be and more. A bit strong, but never the less, very much a nice sipper,

When all was said and done, this was easily one of my favorite beers of late. I would love to and , and plan on having this one again very soon. Solid from top to bottom.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Murky-looking, brown body with some orangey-amber hints at the edges and topped by a thin, whitish head.

Smell: Rich caramel malts scented with vanilla and citrusy grapefruit rinds and, oh yes, there's plenty of pungent oak character to go around.

Taste: Earthy, toasty malts with a full caramel sweetness. Touch of vanilla. It's right about this time the oak starts rolling in, drying out the flavor and practically soaking up any remaining sweetness like a doggone sponge. This leaves the tongue wide open for the assault of citrusy hops and their full bitterness. Finishes bitter and exceptionally dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Some oak jobs I love and some, well... I found this top by a bit over-the-top. Personally, I would be much happier to have just the plain ole', regular BHM.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2012 12oz bottle into a snifter. Deep ruby with a finger of rich and frothy light mocha head. Robust look that leaves sticky swathes of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is an even mix of green citrus, oak and toasted grains. The taste is more strong citrus backed by a combination of sticky caramel and toast. Oak is throughout, leaving this dry and a bit tannic in the finish along with a good bit of lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a prickly carbonation that then gets more creamy and slick feeling underneath. Alcohol is moderate, adding a sweet spiciness to the proceedings. Not bad. I get the feeling that this might have been a little better fresh.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

2012 vintage. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with cool label art and awesome branded green pressure cap acquired at illicit retail in Los Angeles and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've heard great things about Terrapin and this is my first beer from them. Cost me $6.00. 9.1% ABV confirmed.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger light khaki colour head. Nice thickness, nice cream. Pretty good retention for the high ABV - about 4 minutes. Body colour is a dark murky caramel amber. Nontransparent; quasitranslucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not looking great for an Imperial Red. I'd expect a cleaner brighter amber or red hue. Light even lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. It's not ideal, but I'm optimistic.

Sm: Hm. Caramel and biscuit malt. Oak, sure. Light vanilla from the oak. Amber malts. Floral hops. Some bready grains. Not as hoppy as anticipated, but that isn't a bad thing per se. It comes off more like a nicely hopped barleywine than an imperial red. Some tropical fruits come through as it warms - turning me off a bit; I'm not a big fan of tropical fruit hop character - especially in an imperial red. Syrupy and sweet. I'm growing more and more suspicious of this as an alleged imperial red. It's really not to style, and even apart from style conventions it seems like a bit of a mess. Still, there's a lot of interesting things going on here; they just don't seem to be working together in a cohesive, focused way. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

T: Brown sugar, vinous character, heavy residual sugars with accompanying unwelcome sweetness. Some cream. Toasted malt and light vague toffee reminiscent of an over-aged barleywine or scotch ale. Hop character is shockingly timid, with generic floral hops the only note of interest. Some amber malts, but not enough to bring this into amber or imperial red territory. Oak is quite backgrounded, and the vanilla it provides comes off artificial. This is quite a mess; not at all focused or balanced. Maybe deliberately aging this imperial red - oak or not - was a poor idea. The flavour cuts out abruptly on the finish, leaving a weak aftertaste. Lacks subtlety and complexity. Poorly put together. Not a big fan of this one.

Mf: Way too thin on the finish. Smooth and wet throughout. Weak. Lacks body. Poor thickness. Poor presence on the palate. Doesn't suit the flavour profile well. Bad execution.

Dr: The problem here might simply be the premise. Aging an imperial red could well just be a shit idea. As my introduction to Terrapin, this beer hugely disappoints me. I'm content to just assert that it's the aging that ruined it, not Terrapin's brewing per se. After all, I'm sure My Bloody Valentine and Nugget Nectar would taste just as unflattering if aged in oak for an extended period of time. Best consumed when in the mood for a hoppy English barleywine, not an imperial red. Drinkable for the high ABV, but very disappointing. I definitely wouldn't get this again. Not sure what they were thinking.

I may sound a bit too critical throughout my review. Overall, it's an above average beer. I just had high hopes given the brewery's reputation.


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Photo of Jason
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle with a vintage date.

All hazed out with a rusty brown color, the lacing on top is the saving grace for appearance. Massive malt nose; caramel, brioche, faint honey, pineapple, guava, mild hop resin, oak, & booze. Very smooth, big bodied, ripe fruit, brown bread, oak, ample hop bitterness, very warming alcohol, light syrup, caramel, leafy, orange rind, mild spice, semi-sweet oaky finish.

One thing I love about this beer is that the hoppiness was not over done but rather steady throughout. An excellent tipple here.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I picked this one up because I remember the original Hoppy Monster being pretty darn good.

This version is okay. Firm sweet tone dominates with some nice typical amber character showing through. But it all seems kind of a clogged mess in that the boundaries of things seem muddled and it strikes me as a bit of a one dimensional thing.

I have no idea why the original Hoppy Monster is now retired and this has taken its place. Seems silly to me.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Wine World in Destin. Served in a tulip.

A - Light tan foam settles to wisps and a thin collar, leaving minimal lace. Transparent amber-chocolate color. Some visible bubble streams.

S - Oak and piney and earthy hop notes, with a crystal malt imparting red fruits, cotton candy, and perhaps a touch of milk chocolate. Oak dominates, and it's a bit heavy-handed and sharp. Otherwise it's a balanced imperial red ale.

T - The taste has more balance, with a nice mixture of chocolate, caramel, red fruits, and and earthy hops. Oaky vanilla is present but less overwhelming, and mingles with the hops to provide herbal and woody bitterness. Alcohol is quite well-hidden.

M - Exceptionally smooth, medium body, pleasant moderate carbonation, and a dry, toasty finish. Perhaps a hint of warmth, but otherwise quite nice. Probably my favorite element of this beer.

D - Enjoyable stuff, although it's verging on brown ale in malt profile. I also expected more hop aroma from a beer called Big Hoppy Monster - the bitterness is there, but it's not at all what I was expecting. Still, quite drinkable and fairly unique.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark amber with a thin, off white head that has good retention

S - woody, earthy, alcohol, caramel, faint candy sugar

T - oaky, bready, caramel, juicy fruit, herbal, citrusy

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This was a nice amber ale. Normally, I would have appreciated the oak touches here. I'm only disappointed because I love the regular Big Hoppy Monster. The oak here takes a bit away from the lucious malt flavors that I get from the original. On it's own it's a great beer, but in comparison to the original it leaves me wanting more. No matter the comparisons, it's definitely worth a try.

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Photo of billab914
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Ithaca glass. It poured a murky mahogany color with a creamy, off white head to it. Decent retention and good lacing as I drank it.

The aroma does show the oak presence in it with some dry, woody notes. The oak blends very well with the sweeter caramel and light fruit flavors I'm getting out of the malts. The hoppiness seems little more reserved than I remember from the base beer, but the oak and malts area nice combination.

The taste shows a stronger oak presence up front with more of the dry, woody flavors to it. Again, I'm getting a very rich maltiness to it with notes of caramel and dark fruits. The hoppiness adds a little citrus rind to it, but for the most part continues to play more of a backseat role to the oak and malts.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side of the style with carbonation being moderate. Overall, it was a pretty good beer. I liked that the oak complimented rather that dominated the flavors. The malty flavors were very good as well. Everything came together pretty well in it.

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Photo of Gavage
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: reddish in color with a short 1/2" head. Some moderate lace appears.

Smell: malt sweetness and some caramel is all that can be detected.

Taste: caramel, earthy tones, oak, some vanilla, a bit of fruitiness, and a hearty biting bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: definite slow sipping beer. Bold flavors too.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottle says 9.1%.

Appearance - Worrying lack of a pfft when I crack the cap. As I pour, there isn't much by way of bubbles. Not until the end do a few stray cream bubbles make an appearance. In the end, it has a collar on top of an opaque reddish brown body.

Smell - Oak, caramel malt, not a huge hop presence. Some of it's there, I guess, but it just smells like any other over-inflated red ale.

Taste - Better, for sure. More of a hop presence here. A little grapefruity. Lots of caramel and toasted malt. Maybe that's the oak, though. Gives it a little bit of a charred taste. Strong oak presence that becomes very dry in the back. Vanilla is all over in the finish. Oak lingers on the palate along with a hop bite.

Mouthfeel - The oak doesn't make it feel as big, but it's a slow drinker for an amber. The taste points to sweetness without really providing any.

Overall - Nothing terribly special. Too big for it's own good. I don't know why they had to make it even more alcohol than before. The oak is a nice foil to the malt, though.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Terrapin Oak Aged Big Hoppy Monster
Terrapin Beer Company

Pours a murky brown with a nice creamy head and excellent lacing, pretty much a wall of lace. Aromas of sweet vanilla, malt, and some earthy floral hops. In the taste, very sweet upfront with mild dark fruit notes. Vanilla comes through with a lot of barrel influence. Bourbon/rum flavors come through big with alittle pine and dry oak. Roasted malts and barrel char play nicely with the smooth richness of the feel. In the finish, oaky and boozy, very creamy full bodied feel. Overall, they should call this the Big Vanilla Monster, because the hops have died down for the most part and the barrel is doing the talking.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage. Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, opaque, amber coloring with golden highlights around the edges and a thin, filmy, bubbly, off-white head on the pour that disappears almost immediately. Aromas of tangy sweet notes forward, with grapefruit highlighting caramel and toffee. Roasted notes are subtle, with some woody notes buried deep in there, as well. Flavors are hop forward, with a bitter and peppery blast being followed immediately by a rich, sugary, roasted caramel backbone. Pulls together nicely. The oak characteristics take a greater hold about mid-palate, providing a balance to the strong, robust hop and malt characteristics. Some tropical fruit notes highlight towards the middle to end of the palate, where there is also two building forces of spice and booze. This thing is layered, and it is a beast. Mid-bodied, yet light considering all the big flavor profiles. The pepper really draws the line between the palate and the aftertaste, clearing the field for a tangy sweet blend of caramel and tropical fruit. Slick, lingering finish, with a slow building warmth from the elevated ABV. This one is fun, but it's a workout for your taste buds, too. Be prepared to sip and absorb.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Brick Store Pub. Pours a dark chestnut with a nice cap that leaves some lacing. Nice citrusy hop aromas come through on the nose as well as lightly sweet malt and just a hint of oak. Nicely balanced and not overdone. The taste reflectss the same components and is equally balanced, which is nice beacause ocassionally this brewery overoaks some of their beers. Not this one, a very deft hand with the oak here. Just right, a nice beer, nicely enhanced.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2012 Vintage recently purchased but unfortunately less than fresh.

A - A huge amber colour with a golden orange glow along the bottom. A thin layer of tan coloured head formed on the pour and slowly receded to a ring around the edges of the glass.

S - Huge caramel and oak aromas with some lighter floral and toffee notes. Fairly sweet overall, as expected.

T - Oak/woody flavours are dominant with a huge sweet caramel, toffee and brown sugar presence. Some floral notes in the background with almost no bitterness present from the hops. Tannic with a somewhat noticeable alcohol presence.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slightly too much carbonation.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle

pours a dark amber with a a nice head. the smell is hoppy but the oak is there too..hmm, interesting. the taste is extremely smooth. starts out with a good amount of sweetness but not overwhelmingly so.. the hops come in a bit on the back but arent too big either. the oak is very apparent but not dominating. the sweetness doesnt linger and its just smooth all around. a well crafted beer. medium bodied with mild carbonation.

overall im impressed. quite good.

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Photo of corby112
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft at The Pour House in Westmont, NJ.

Pours a hazy dark copper color with amber/mahogany edges and a 1.5 finger off-white head that slowly settles into a lasting ring.  Splotches of lace left behind.

Aroma reminds me of an old ale.  Some toasted, earthy oak along with subtle vanilla followed by caramel malt and earthy floral hop notes.  Oak becomes more prominent as it warms giving off a slight toothpick character.  Caramel malt sweetness, toffee and rye overpower the hops.  Subtle resinous piney character but not what I was expecting for a hoppy beer.

Medium bodied with a nice oak barrel presence that's decently integrated into the base beer.  It's strong but doesn't completely overpower the other flavors.  Virgin oak/toothpick flavor with a little bit of spicy rye.  Again, the hops are there but are overpowered by the strong barrel and malt profile.  Hints of caramel, toffee, spicy rue and cocoa followed floral and slightly earthy hop bitterness.  A bit dry but the malts have sweetness for balance.  Abv well masked and decently drinkable but overpowering wood flavors hurt a bit.  Also, way too malty for the style in my opinion.  Not bad but the barrel character is too dominant and the hops are overpowered.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 1.30.14
BK Parsip 12/15/12

A - Pours a hazy, very dark red-amber with a small tan head that just sits there.

S - Oak, big caramel malts, sweet.

T - Bitter hops fight off the sweet malts. Like a light barleywine.

D - Good carbonationn with a medium body.

O - Sweet and oaky with some mild bitter hops. ok.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a darkish brown with good two finger white head and lace down the glass on top of a very hoppy aroma mixed with oakey and slight sweet caramel and sugary malts. Taste is more of the same, as is mouthfeel, as a sturdy, heavy but easy passing beer goes over my tongue with a mix of grapefruit like hops, sugary sweetness, touch of oakiness and a dry, sturdy finish. Hops flavor profile is mostly like a wet, grape variety, and the malts are caramel and other sweetness and the beer is not too complex but has a good amount of depth. The dry finish is a great complement to a good beer and this is a very enjoyable sipper.

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Photo of glid02
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a cloudy dark copper color with a one-finger tan head. The head sticks around for a while before dissipating into a patchy layer of bubbles on top and a thick ring around the glass. Lacing is pretty sticky.

Smells mostly of floral hops. I was surprised how big the aroma was, I was expecting it to be toned down more from the barrel. There are also piney hop aromas to go along with earthy malt undertones that grow more pungent as the beer warms.

Tastes very good. After the smell I was prepared for the amount of hoppiness found in the un-aged version, but I was surprised that it was much more toned down. Earthy malt flavors dominate, with almost equal amounts of piney hop flavors. Bitterness at the end is pretty solid.

Mouthfeel is good. It's a bit thicker than the normal version with more subdued carbonation. Very smooth.

Drinkability is great. I would've had a few more of these had I not had a few others on my must-try list. Definitely give this one a shot if you see it around.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an appetizing, translucent mahogany with a fine-bubbled, slightly reddish tan head. Aroma is richly hoppy and has undertones of spice and wood. Flavor is strongly hoppy but not bitter with a definite oaky undertone and hints of cinnamon candy. Smooth, lively texture leaves a woody, slightly smoky aftertaste. Recommended.

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Terrapin Oaked Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.