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 RyanLigeia
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, dark golden color. Decent sized head for a 9.5% ABV beer and leaves some nice lacing too.

A blast of tropical/citrus/juicy hops and a caramel/candied belgian sugar aroma. A slight wheat scent is in there as well as a slight maltyness and touch of alcohol.

The taste is pretty unique. Mostly follows the scents (juicy hop blast, caramel/candied belgian sugar, a hint of wheat maybe, nice malt backbone) but theres a sort of gumball-like flavor in there somewhere too. Also, the abv is MUCH more present here than in the smell but I like that in my double/imperial versions of just about any style.

Leaves the mouth feeling almost bitter/dry like real grapefruit juice (not a bad thing). Moderate carbonation, right around enough body to match the huge flavors, alcohol warmth as it goes down. A good sipper.

One of the best local offerings available anywhere around here in Western MA (in my opinion). Probably my favorite Paper City beer, despite IPAs being one of my least preferred styles these days. My opinion could be biased though, due to a bit of nostalgia, as this was one of my gateway beers into the craft community when I was younger.

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Photo of ludachris
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coming right from Boston.

The "blonde" descriptor written on the label is somewhat decieving seeing as the body is a rich peachy, marmalade orange hue. A finger's worth of creamy white head floats on top, leaving horizontal legs of lace as it recedes.

The nose is fairly tamed for a 9.5% DIPA. Ripe pineapple, fresh mandarin oranges, and a brush of pine sap are layered over a juicy resinous core. Sweet, rich bread comes through as well but like nearly all DIPA's of this strength, it plays more of a secondary role.

A big woop of sticky pine and semi-sweet grapefruit hits the back of the palate with a bang. Sweet pineapple, orange and lemon come at the tail end of this hop wallop, seeming as though they're trying to cover its tracks but the bitterness lingers long past the finish.

This high alcohol ridiculously hopped beer demands a big body and that's exactly what it has. Creamy and smooth through and through with any hint of alcohol being lost amongst the hop assault.

This is a very well rounded and flavourful DIPA that I'd love to try on tap. The aromatics could be a tad more pronounced but this is still a great beer nonetheless.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a bright amber color. Quite hazy. Head is excellent. Off-white and nearly two fingers high. Head retains well and leaves tons of lacing. An undoubtedly attractive brew.

S-A bit of an odd nose here. Nose seems to be made up of more Belgian hops than anything else. Like a Belgian DIPA. Smells a bit grassy. Mild sweetness. Definitely boasts a hoppy nose but it is a unique aroma none-the-less. Not sure how much I like it though.

T-Sweeter than I anticipated but there is a pretty stiff kick of grassy and piney hops. Hops taste a bit medicinal and herbal. Decent balance; chewy caramel. Alcohol masked quite well. Has a taste of its own. Citrus comes out as the beer wamrs just slightly. Finishes mildly bitter.

M-Medium to heavy bodied. Mild carbonation. Alcohol dries the palate a bit. Chewy feel.

O/D-In conclusion, I did not love this beer. Hop profile here isn't my favorite. Definitely decent. No real complaints but I would not buy this again. It grew on me as I slowly polished off the bomber.At $6.25 a bomber, and local, I would like to see this a bit cheaper but it isn't overpriced really. A respectable and unique DIPA from my home state.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.64/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy gold body, topped by three fingers of snow white rocky froth. Good lacing.

Extraordinarily mild orange aroma. Nothing bad, but I expect more nose from an ipa.

Starts with a big dollop of caramel. The big blast of sweet is quickly matched and overpowered by a bigger blast of bitter that roars through the afterglow. Juicy fruit provides an undercoat to all that bitterness.

Solid mouthfeel delivers the beer well.

Overall, an agressive abrasive DIPA that may not be for everyone, but should work for those who like those kind of IPAs.

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Photo of jlindros
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light creamy head fades semi quickly light lacing hazy peach brown orange color.

Nose light citrus, candy hops light grassy hops, light herbal like, light malts, wheat, fruit and candy, gumball.

Wheat, light malts, semi sweet, quite bitter, chewy hops, light citrus, light fruity hops, touch of earthy spicy hops, light gumball flavor, a bit sweet too. Finishes quite bitter still, lingering fruity and candy hops, light sticky sweet.

Mouth is med to heavier bodied, decent carb.

Overall pretty good, nice hops flavors, quite bitter, move light wheat, sticky finish Though, and a bit too heavy and sweet, it would be a great beer without the heavy thick sweet sticky part.

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Photo of surprenant1138
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice hazy dark amber with minimal white head and some lacing. Aroma is faint; some light citrusy hops, a bit piney, and some Frey grass smell. I detect a sweet berry fruitiness also. Mouthfeel is dry, and medium bodied. Taste is very refreshing, sweet like berry flavor, lemons, some pine and grassiness. Very tasty dry IPA here.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle. Pours a hazy light amber color with a big frothy white head. Fair amount of lacing. Nice hoppy aroma. Mostly tropical fruits and citrus. Smells sweet. Taste is bitter with some orange peel. Not as tropical as it smelled but there are some tropical fruit notes. Bitter finish along with more orange peel. This one has a high abv but doesn't taste too boozey. Good amount of drinkability but the bitterness slows you down a bit. Overall, a very good Imperial IPA that I would have again.

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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 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 koopa
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a creamy cloudy caramel blonde with a 1 finger white crown that displays great retention and lace.

Smell: Nice spanish cedar wood / tobacco type note, minor caramel note, pine hops, and a touch of citrus hops.

Taste: Same as the nose with a hint of alcohol presence. Nice bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with nice soft carbonation.

Drinkability: 5.0 if it didn't have a touch of alcohol presence.

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Photo of Brad007
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from a 22oz bomber.

Pours a nice yellowish-blond color with a small flicker of head into my glass. Color is decent.

Grapefruit notes from the hops dominate upfront, followed closely by a bit of sweet malt. Yep, this is certainly hoppy.

Once again, lots of grapefruit character followed by a bitterness that's just right, warming the throat with mint-like flavors as well. Purely a hop monster.

Dries the mouth and leaves a residual grapefruit taste in the mouth. Certainly lives up to the name.

A decent imperial IPA that seems to be true to the meaning. It's not exactly balanced but still better than some other examples I've sampled.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Poured a big head which collapsed to 1/2" but in so doing kind of left a merengue-like floater of head floating in the middle top. Hazy gold and tan color. Taste is a little sweet and very rich with big bold hops. I'd call it oppulent. It's really only a monster if you're afraid of hops hiding under your bed when you turn out the light. Otherwise it's just the friendly hop fairy.

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Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle purchased somewhere local in MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" off-white head over the slightly cloudy golden amber brew. Head falls gradually, with lasting lace. Aroma is sweet with strong citrus character.

Taste follows along, sweet upfront, lemony in the middle, and wraps up with a gritty tooth scraping bitterness that somehow hits the spot. It all comes together well though. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is good for they style as well. Pretty drinkable in a style often of bitter for the sake of bitter.

6/12/04 - 4/4.5/4.5/5/4.5
12ozer purchased as a single from the Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA, apparently another brew from the "limited brewer's offering," as noted on the somewhat generic label.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" white head above a somewhat cloudy dark straw brew. Dense head hung around for quite some time, and laced well. Aroma is as advertised, dominated by piney hops character. Taste is surprisingly malty upfront, before the tsunami of hops balance and then dominate. Mouthfeel is semingly perfect, and the brew is oh-so-drinkable. I'll be picking up a six pack for the fridge tomorrow...

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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 thekevlarkid
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle this beer was a cloudy, golden color with a thin skim of white head. The retention was good and the lacing streaky. The aroma was of citrus fruits, pineapple and maybe some green apples along with a biscuity malt background. The flavors were good starting with a pleasant sweetness of caramel along with the tropical fruit bundle and some hints of piney hops too. As it warmed up I tasted pears and apricots as well as more and more of the alcohol. Big and well blended, I thought. The mouthfeel was smooth, the body full and the carbonation appropriate. Big but drinkable and not as one-sided as many DIPAs.

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Photo of colts9016
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to donkeyrunner for this bottle.

Poured into an oversized wine glass at 50 degrees.

Appearance: A golden color with an orangish reddish hue. There was a 2 finger white head that just left a quarter inch ring around the glass. There is a lot of sediment in the glass, which leads me to believe it is yeast. The clarity of the beer is hazy, but there is some light let through. There is some lacing on the glass.

Nose: There is a pear and banana aroma followed by a sweet maltiness. There are hints of pine and oranges a bread/biscuit nose. You can smell the Cascade hops in the beer.

Taste: A heavy malt in the beer followed by a muted hop taste: In the beer there is the banana, oranges, pine, and biscuit.

Overall: The mouth feel is medium to full body some carbonation. The finish is slightly bitter and medium full finish. This beer comes across at more a maltier IPA than hoppy. The beer is strange and unique in its own way. Don't know what to think. There are a lot of hops in the beer. It is not a great beer, but it not bad. The uniformity of the beer is lacking a bit. It is okay. The head lack retention but the beer looks great.

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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 jwc215
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to donkeyrunner for including two of these in our trade!

Pours clouded golden amber with a thin white head that stays.

The smell is spicy with citric/tropical fruits and piney resin. Some caramel.

The taste is a smacking of hops. Plenty of strong sweetness (caramelish candy) mixes with the bitterness. Raw, strong, but nice. Some booze noticeable.

Reaches full bodied. A bit syrupy/sticky.

Well-hopped, but not overly bitter - leans sweet, especially at first and towards the end. A different sort of hoppiness. A big brew!

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Photo of WillieMoe
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange amber, with some sediment floating around in there. Head is thin to non-existent.

Has a nice mix of citrus and floral hops in there, although they are not as overpowering as one might think with a name like "hop monster". This also a hint of spice, possibly ginger or coriander, lingering in there as well.

The hops are present, but like the scent, they do not overpower. Instead there seems to be a medium spiced citrusy flavor about it. The strong ABV is hidden extremely well. This "monster" is smooth and goes down easy. Before I knew it I had taken down four bottles!

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Photo of jdoncbus
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My label looks different. Landed this through a trade about five months ago and forgot I had it; oops. Age unknown.

Poured into a Piraat tulip. The beverage has a hazy, golden brown appearance. Carbonation becomes very light in time and produces a thin head. Nice hazing and lacing.

Aroma is pine and booze. Notes of pineappple, grapefruit, pears, and grass. Mild syrup malt appears creating a certain sweetness; almost like a floral brandy.

The taste is an interestig roller coaster ride. Bitter sherry hits the palate but gives way to a butterscotch malt thats last for a few seconds ad everything balances out. The palate then gets slammed by some serious pine, grapefruit, cilantro, and white pepper. The bitterness leaves the palate initially dry as expected but surprisingly the mouth is left a little slick. The lasting impression in the end is the boozy burn down the esophagus.

I am not sure how much age mellowed the hops in this one but in the end, the hops weren't hiding; in fact they punched me in the gut. A fun beer and a serious one none the less. Hop Heads only.

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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 hero27
4.32/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

One of the plethora of beers that IBUnit63 sent me in LNBA BIF, thanks again!

Pours an extremely hazy, rusty orange..sticky foam resides on top & clings to the sides of the glass.
Hoppy aroma of fresh apricots, pineapple, & lemon..pale malts linger in the background.
Apricot-infused bitterness ensues from the first sip..a menagerie of citrus flavors clash together, mixed with the hearty taste of pine resin..biscuity, pale malt sweetness holds things together well.

8.5%? hell, I could drink this all day..an extremely refreshing brew, especially considering it's classified as an imperial ipa..

A very tasty offering from Paper City Brewery.

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Photo of AltBock
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with a label of a bunch of crazy black lines surrounding some hop buds. There is no back label because everyting can be found on the front label, except for any kind of bottling date or code.

When poured into a Stoudt's pint glass, this Blonde Monster is a murky golden tangerine orange. The reason why it's so murky is because of all the hop particles floating around. The head of foam was about 1/4 of an inch in height and white in color. This small head of foam had good retention that left behind a white film foamy white rings, and a few spots of white lace around the glass.

Strong sweet hoppy aroma. It was strong with bitter citrus hops that were mixed in with a little candi sugar. Behind the sugary hops was tart grapefruit, a few lemons, a hint of orange peel, sweet yeast, and a splash of caramel malts.

The taste was much like the aroma, bitter and sweet and heavy on the sugary citrus hops. This is where all the hop particles floating around come into play. This monster's taste contained sugary citrus hops, citrus fruits like the grapefruit and lemon, a hint of orange peel, a touch of sweet yeast, and a small taste of toasted caramel malts at the finish. The hops completely ruled over this taste.

This was a full bodied hoppy beer witha full flavored hoppy aftertaste of sweet citrus hops, grapefruit, and a hint of lemon zest. This hoppy aftertaste will stick around in the back of your throat for a few minutes.

Great hoppy beer! The hops do not let up for a minute. The label said it was made with an unreasonable amount of hops. You know what? They're right! Since the hops were so strong, this would make for a good once in a while treat.

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Photo of dickieb
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden amber in color with a thin ring for head. I also see some floating yeast, and the lacing is average. The smell is dominated by hops with hint of candied sugar pine and citrus. The flavor is also mostly hops (go figure) with a sweet piny hop bite and some grainy malts dont balance it out one bit. This feels and drinks like the hop bomb that it is, and overall I got just what I was looking for when it caught my eye at the LC.

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Photo of tpd975
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's. That place rocks!!

A: Pours a slightly murky yellowish gold hue with a nice foamy head. The retention is good and some lace was noted.

S: Nice blast of sweet fruit and citrus hops. Grapefruit and tangerine dominate the hop bill on this one. There is a nice sweetness though that pushes through. Hints of apricot and canned peaches are very present as well.

T: Matches the nose. Citrus hops married to sweet peaches and dried apricots. A touch of pine can be detected as well. I would describe it as a nice hoppy fruity IPA.

M: Medium in body, slightly bitter in the finish.

D: Nice I would love to have a few of these in a bottle. Wish I had a growler to fill to take back home to the boys in Tampa. This would be nice on a hot Florida summer day.

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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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