Hop Monster | Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.

very good
138 Reviews
Hop MonsterHop Monster

Brewed by:
Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UnionMade on 10-30-2002

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Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 160
Photo of donkeyrunner
1.73/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

No dating on label. My bottle looks different than the one in the BA picture. I like mine better.

Smelled of floral hops with a heavy alcohol presence. Appeared dark amber with a quickly dissipating head and...floaties. Yeast and hops I guess?

Hugely intense (like a kick in the teeth) flavor of hops and alcohol. Sometimes the hop flavor won out, but mostly just alcohol. Bummer.

Overall I was super dissapointed by the floaties and the overpowering alcohol presence.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
2.24/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A quite vigorous pour barely gets over a finger thick head to form, it is a light tan color. The beer is a hazed, amber color that shows a hazy, orangish copper hue when held up to the light. The aroma has a pine and grapefruit hop aroma to it up front the moves to a mix of soap and stale body odor in the finish. Honestly the aroma just sucks and really doesn't leave me with any desire to explore it any more.

The beer has a malts sweetness to it up front that is tempered by a pine and herbal hop flavor. As the beer flows across the tongue it begins to pick up a stronger and stronger soap flavor, until that is what ends up lingering on in the finish for much too long. There is a fair amount of bitterness here, but honestly it could actually use more of a biting bitterness to balance the sweet, caramelized malt character. It has a bit more body than I personally like in a Double IPA, but is perfectly within the style range.

This beer was actually somewhat fun, the aroma is particularly offensive, though the flavor is just a touch better. It is quite hoppy, so they at least got that part right (I have had some Double IPAs that were severely under-hopped), but the off flavors are just really striking. Makes me wonder what they did to get these particular flavors and aromatics; I almost wonder if it is some horrible combination of hops.

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Photo of neonbrown82
2.41/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I never met a double IPA I didn't like until this one. This blonde was no different than many of the blonde sorority girls I see around here: looks good enough, but completely lacks appeal to the other senses.

The beer pours to a dull hazy peach color with a thin head. Could use more clarity, carbonation, and head. Doesn't look very blonde. More like a blonde who tried to dye her hair a different color but with fucked up, tragic results. I'm lenient in this category, however, as it doesn't look unappealing at all.

The smell has the first hint of DMS and a sweet pear cidery flavor with a failed attempt at balancing/covering it with hops. The hops have a very sharp grassy aroma.

The taste starts off with a strong sweetness with that same pear cider flavor. Still has a hint of DMS. The hops flavor seems like an afterthought, like all of the hops were added at the beginning of the boil except for the dry hop addition. Rough bitterness with only a feint wet grassy hops taste. The mouth dries out very quickly.

The body seems quite light with a tart sweetness followed by a rough bitterness. Not a good combo. After it dries out your palate, it leaves you with that flavor you get after vomiting. Now, you tell me just how appealing that sounds. Still want to give 'er the 'ole college try?

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Photo of Rastacouere
2.48/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear gold hue wearing an off-white film. Strong oil and chalk aroma, poorly balanced with food coloring notes together with aggressive medicinal tones. Initially not very tasty, but a sticky bitterness grows on the palate together with an uneasy alcoholic tang that fails to be complemented by a perceivable source of malt. At the same time, it mysteriously feels pretty sweet, in a cough drops kind of way. Lemony mandarine Amarillo flavours procures a tart profile. Medium body, light carbonation, quaffable mouthfeel, but hard flavours.

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Photo of portia99
2.5/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

22oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pale, very hazy golden color, orangish highlights, somewhat dirty looking. A low half finger of fine bubbled white foam that dies quickly to a surface skim coat and a thick, uneven collar.

S - A bit alcoholic up front, sweet citrusy lemon and orange. Quite fruity hop aromas, some honey-like sweetness, light biscuity malt and some herbal and spearminty notes as well. A somewhat odd combination of hoppy aromas.

T - Quite estery flavor, guessing they used some English yeast veriety. Alcoholic, herbal and medicinal flavors and bitterness that lingers and leaves a solvent-like flavor behind. Can't say I'm a fan of this one.

M - Bitter, alcoholic and medicine-like. A bit thin, solvent/rubbing alcohol like...pretty high carbonation level.

O - Not impressed by this one. Doesn't look or smell especially good. Taste is not at the top of my list either. Too much medicinal qualities for me. This is a one and done.

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Photo of wyllder
2.68/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a light, cloudy amber with little to no head.

Has a very distinctive, fruity nose, with grapefruit and apricot greeting you when you smell it. This is probably one of the best smelling beers I've ever had, it's almost like smelling a nice perfume.

First hit on the palate is a rush of hop bitterness that slowly fills out with grapefruit & apricot flavors. The grapefruit and apricot turn into an orange peel aftertaste as they move to the back of the palate. As you progress through the bottle, the hoppiness takes backseat and the fruitiness tends to overwhelm the palate.

Most frustratingly for me, the orange peel aftertaste actually settles in the back of the throat like a bad cough medicine and is quite unpleasant. By about 2/3 of the way through my 12oz bottle, it became a battle to actually finish it.

This isn't necessarily a bad beer, just much fruitier than I prefer in an IPA and possessing an aftertaste that sat really poorly with me. I can see why some people might like or even love it, but it's not for me and came really close to meeting the sink drain.


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Photo of akorsak
2.8/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of jamie2dope. I had this on-tap at the Kennett brewfest but wasn't really in a reviewing state of mind then, so I'm glad for a second chance.

A: The ale is a deep orange (almost clementine orange) color. Haziness is pervasive throughout, as is some sediment. What little head emerged on pour quickly whittled away.

S: The aroma is a thick mess of hops and malts, so much of a mix that it could easily pass for a barleywine.

T: The taste matches the nose, an amalgam of hops and malts so over the top that they literally scald the tastebuds. The hops are thick and oily, resiny with citrus elements. The malts are concentrated with a dry fruity element (think slightly tart green apples or grapes).

M: The mouthfeel is a let down. The flavors, both hop and malt, are amped up far too high for their own good. I slowly feel my tongue revolting against me.

D: I remember it being so good on tap. This bottle is a muddled mess.

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Photo of jazzmac
2.96/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hazy amber color with a nice foamy head. Hops are overpowering on first smell. The beer slams into your palate on the first sip with overwhelming hops. There is not much body here to back up the hops and alcohol. Very disappointed as I love every beer this brewery makes, it felt like hops for hops sake without thought to balancing the flavor.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.01/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle. Pours into my glass a light amber orange hue with a half inch of creamy white head on top. Looks nice in the glass. Aromas start with light toasty, grainy malts with a buttery, caramel aspect. Very herbal, somewhat floral hops with a touch of citrus. Grape aroma is there as well. Interesting.

First sip brings a somewhat sweet caramel malt upfront with a grainy, lightly toasted aspect to it. Acrid herbal hops move in with some floral and grapefruit aspects as well. The hops end up tasting dirty and a bit of a muddy mix. An odd grape flavor is present. Flows down with brash bitterness that lingers. Hops run the show here, but the overall flavor profile is a let down.

Mouthfeel is creamy and big with a nice viscous quality to it. Good carbonation that works well but becomes a little too prickly on the finish. Overall, I just didn't find this one that tasty, seems a bit muddled with an odd aftertaste. Just not my cup of tea.

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Photo of garthwaite
3.17/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle sample courtesy of ppoitras. Pours a glowing, murky yellow with no head to speak of. Huge citrusy aroma of lemon, lime, & orange with an almost equally large dose of piney hops. Initial flavors of pale malts with a big oily hop bite and assertive bitterness. Quite a unique array of flavors fill the mouth - I'm picking up sugary tropical fruit, juicy hop oil, pine needle, grapefruit, lemon, & grape. Syrupy & almost medicinal in the mouth with a pronounced apple ciderish finish. To me this is a sweet, sour, hoppy jumble that while exceptionally unique was just too damn muddled, fruity, & sweet to fit my palate.

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Photo of sholland119
3.21/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a cloudy orange. A light creamy head that dissipates quickly with no lacing but a nice stickiness.

S-A little dull on the nose really with no really pronounced aroma. A little malt, a little hop...

T-Quite a bit of syrupy sweetness throughout with just a little bit of hops at the end. Not what I would expect from a DIPA, really.

M-Pleasant enough but I prefer a little bitterness to hang around. There was not much bitterness to start so maybe that's why.

D-Here you go: a drinkable DIPA. I think one of these will do just fine for me but they are easy to drink.

I didn't care much for this when I had it tap a while back. I don't really enjoy it in the bottle either. Maybe the bottle I got was not totally fresh but it was a pretty disappointing rendition of a style I love.


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Photo of GJ40
3.22/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I sampled this at the East End Cafe in Pawtucket, RI. I saw hop in the title so I had to try it. I have to say I was disappointed.

It has an amber color with very little head and lacing. The aroma and taste are primarily sweet. The taste also has a firm presence of alcohol as well but very little hops coming through (and no hop flavor to speak of). It was very much on the thick side.

Maybe I've been spoiled by west coast IPAs / DIPAs but I didn't think this was very good and other than giving it a second chance sometime, wouldn't order it again.

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Photo of clvand0
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber/orange color with a small head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is very strong with a sharp hop - but it seems to be a single hop - I don't know which it is. ...but I'm not a huge fan. The flavor has a slight malt backing, but has a lot of hop flavor and has a lot that sticks around on the tongue. Quite a bit of sweetness. The flavor isn't something that I thoroughly enjoy. The body is moderate and the drinkability is just ok.

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Photo of chaduvel
3.27/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark gold copper color with a wispy head that doesn't stay around for long at all. Aroma is of woodsy hops, oak, maple, and leafy. Now for the first taste. Overwhelming hops on the intake, woodsy hops at that, then comes cloying malt sweetness, fruity malts--apricots, pears maybe? Thick mouth feel. Ends with another welcome of leafy hops and more sweet malt. The cloying malts remind me of a Malt Liquor [I'm not a big fan]. This is a well-balanced beer for such big hops, but I didn't care for the malt characteristics or the weird sweet flavors. Definitely worth a try though.

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Photo of OldSock
3.28/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance and Presentation – 12 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits. It pours a hazy golden orange beer with a creamy two finger head. Retention and lacing are both exceptional.

Smell – Mostly spicy and herbal hops a very different smell than most DIPAs that I have had. Slightly sweet malt background.

Taste – Rather strong alcohol flavor shows through the hops and malt. The hops are rather European/British, more herbal/grassy than the standard American citrus/pine mix. The malt is just sweetness, not much complexity. The bitterness is in check, if anything it’s a bit too far to the sweet side.

Mouthfeel – Light and thinish for a big beer. Relatively low carbonation.

Drinkability and Notes – A bit cloying, but a passable beer that is drinkable to a point. Overall this is a so-so DIPA, thankfully it tries something different, but sadly it is not a beer that I would have again. Definately not Paper City’s best effort.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.3/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured to a somewhat dark shade of yellow and gold with a small head. The head faded to a ring and left a minor amount of lace.

The smell is deep and strong, consisting mainly of honey and pine. The taste starts with a lot of pale malt and a bit of honey. Hops take over and dominate through the finish. Pine flavor is strong. The mouthfeel is medium.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a cream, three-finger head that goes slowly to a thin layer and leaving some lace. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Almost clear amber color. Nose is hoppy. Flavor is sweet peach/honey with a lot of hops up front. Slight hoppy/bitter finish. $1.85 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

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Photo of CliffBrake
3.34/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ever so slightly hazy orange color, with rocky head that lasts well and leaves good lacing.

Some lemon and herbal hops on the nose. Flavor of lemony, juicy hops with a big somewhat astringent bitterness. Sweet malty base but it does not detract from the hop forward presentation at all. Mouth puckering.

Good carbonation on a pretty big bodied beer. A sipper for sure. No doubt this is a high alchohol brew. Balanced but the acidic astringency keeps me from drinking this one too quickly.

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Photo of Durge
3.36/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A fairly clear carmel/amber color with lots of tiny bubbles, a thick slightly off-white head and great lacing. A very nice malty pine hops aroma, not strong but pleasant, maybe a touch of citrus, too. Very sweet and syrupy at first taste. A pretty nice flavor with some obvious alcohol crying out, but mostly sweet carmel and licorice with a grapefruit hops mix. It seems to get a bit more medicinal as you go. It goes down fairly easy despite the ABV, but it is pretty heavy on the tongue and wouldn't be a great session beer I don't think. It approaches being one of those too sweet sodas, just a bit too much to really savor, a bit of sugar shock I think. It's thick and luscious stuff, obviously high quality, but the flavor is lost in itself here. I would like less sugar and more bitter hops. Still, it was worth a try for me and I would drink it again if offered. Might be ugly to those shy of the overly sweet brews.

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Photo of Brent
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bit different from the rest of the smack-you-in-the-face-with-hops crowd. Interesting mild leafy green hops aroma, like freshly picked hops, still wet with dew. A bit shockingly tart at the first sip, but the acidity drops back sharply. I usually register hops bitterness at the back of the tongue, where I understand most of the bitterness-receptive taste buds are located, but, oddly enough, I seemed to register the hops bitterness more at the front and middle of the tongue, along with some lingering citric acidity. The beer made a feint toward going hops-overload syrupy (i.e. DFH 120), but pulled out of the dive. For me, this beer falls into the category of brews that were an interesting experience, but not one I'd go back for more of.

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Photo of beergeek279
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is copper, with a filmy white head. The smell is a somewhat minty/citrus hop. The taste is a fairly grassy hop with a bit of citrus taste, and a bit of malt that seems a bit muddled. Mouthfeel is average. As for drinkability, probably wouldn't have too many more.

Thanks to UnionMade for the bottle. Just not particularly impressed with this one, as it just doesn't seem to be within that IPA balance that the greats have. It's a pleasure to give it a try, but this wouldn't be one I'd go out of my way to get.

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Photo of Jdiddy
3.41/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was a bit let down by this. It's not bad but it is not spectacular either. Suprisingly, the scent is not very hoppy. I prefer the scent of a 90 IPA from Dogfish. It does hide the alcohol well but the taste is just ok. It has that bitter (cellar/dirt-like) aftertase that some very hopped beers have. That shows me that something was not done right. The beer is ok until the aftertaste. A bit musty. I am all for hops (the hoppier the better!) but it has to be balanced right and this isn't. I would not rush to buy this again.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.47/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
It pours a chill hazed gold with a fast fading white head and very little lace.
It has an odd sour buttermilk aroma, followed by a big floral hop smell.
The malt is buried by the candy sugary flavor.
The taste is overwhelmingly pink grapefruit with sugar.
A lemon sourball taste emerges.
A shot of alcohol peaks through.
Nice effort, but a bit too sweet for my taste.

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Photo of Damian
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Drank from a 1 pt 6 fl oz bottle
Served in a snifter

Hazy, golden amber in appearance with a frothy, bright white head that left thick streaks of lacing all down the glass. The head slowly faded to a thin cap of bubbles.

The aroma was quite subdued initially. A bit of maltiness was noticeable. Possibly some lemon notes too. As the beer warmed, the crisp, sharp hops came out. Citric and lemony. Somewhat herbal and earthy. Boozy. The alcohol was very forthcoming and reminded me of acetone.

Flavorwise, this beer was noticeably different from other DIPAs I have tried. Pale malt notes appeared up front before the hops took over. The hop profile was very dry and pithy. Grapefruit rind dominated. Earthy hops came through as well. Some booziness was also noticeable. The finish was ultra sharp and bitter with strong notes of pine sap, grapefruit rind and alcohol.

The mouthfeel was smooth, creamy and frothy with a lively effervescence. This was unquestionably the most impressive aspect of the beer.

Drinkability was mediocre. Between the ultra dry, pithy hops and the sharp alcohol bite on the finish, this beer was somewhat difficult to put down.

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Photo of brentk56
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy apricot color with a rocky head that sticks nicely and leaves a nice pattern of lace

Smell: Toffee and pear/pineapple nectar, alcohol present as well

Taste: Initially very sweet toffee and then the hop assault begins, leading to a dance macabre of sweet toffee and bitter pineapple hops on the tongue; after the swallow, the bitterness jumps up a notch or two and the pear flavor comes forward but the finish is overbearingly sweet

Mouthfeel: Syrupy and sticky, with moderate carbonation, plenty of warmth from the alcohol

Drinkability: Way too underattenuated for my tastes; I like the hop profile but the sweetness is cloying and dramatically limits the drinkability factor

Thanks, UncleJimbo, for the chance to try this one

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Hop Monster from Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
3.77 out of 5 based on 160 ratings.
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