Hop Monster | Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.

Hop MonsterHop Monster
Liked This Beer
3.78 w/ 160 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 160 |  Reviews: 138
Photo of brentk56
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
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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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Orange-marmalade body. Long lasting antique-white head. Walls of tiny-spotted lace. Pretty nice for a beer of 8.5%

Malty and honeyish, piney/spicy/minty hops, dried-apricot aroma.

Full bodied. Effervescent, very-fine-bubbled.

The flavor starts with hints of honey and a healthy dose of rock candy. Becomes bready. Then hoppy, peppery and minty with a piney side. Alcohol & dried apricot. Bold bitterness. Alcohol. Piney hops. Very drying alcohol. Fades back to dried apricot and a thin drizzle of honey. Perhaps some mild papaya. Lingering spice, probably due to both the hops and the alcohol.

Big. Very bold. The choice of hops is interesting (it's at least a change from citrus). Enjoy at cellar temperature to bring out the richness of the malt and balance the striking hops. Perhaps overdone, perhaps not, but the somewhat harsh alcohol clearly inhibits drinkability.

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Photo of jlindros
3.97/5  rDev +5%
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 TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The smell is rich with hops and caramelized malt, leaning toward the sweet side. I picked up a little bit of citrus but no where near as much as you normally get in this style.

T: Up front, the taste hits you with an intense hops bitterness and an intense caramel sweetness at the same time. You get a little bit of booziness and alcohol warmth that you tend to get from a barley wine. It seemed to me that this beer is one of those Double IPA’s with a heavy English IPA/Barley Wine influence (like Lagunitas 12th Anniv. Shutdown). The hops end up remaining in a mildly bitter after-taste.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation and a clean & dry finish.

D: It’s tasty and not very filling. This one is as drinkable as any other within the style, but after a 12oz. bottle or two, you may want to slow down a bit.

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Photo of smcolw
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

here's an update as of 11-14-2010:
Strong smell of caramel malt. Not hoppy, unlike the flavor, which still has the oiliness from the alcohol, but still has the peppery bite in the swallow.

Coudy blonde/light amber color. Decent head, with a light lace on the side of the glass.

Tin foil aroma, very little hop or malt. I could not determine the age of this beer, so it's difficult to determine if may have gone past its prime.

Very oily with a strong alcohol feel. Smooth pale malt flavor gives way to strong hop (as promised). The aftertaste is a combination of the rich, alcohol oils and hop bitterness. The only mark against it is the hop is not very fresh or aromatic.

Nice recovery from the initial smell, but still an under achiever. Again, I question the freshness of my bottle, but there are no markings to determine its age.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Resplendent golden amber with the barest suggestion of apricot... that murks up significantly when the final few ounces are added. The creamyfirm ivory head is large and stately, looking and acting like only a beer with a boatload of hops can. Sheets and rings of fine sticky lace coat the inside of the pint glass and will, no doubt, remain until the last dog's hung and the rope's cut. A melted mesa of foam remains in the center of the glass, but isn't able to keep the hoptastic aroma from perfuming the air.

The nose is powerfully aromatic, but there's more going on than the typical citric fruitiness of American hops. Those aromas are present, but they're deepened by a hop variety that I haven't run across much and am struggling to describe (edit: the hop bill consists of Magnum and Santiam). Blonde Hop Monster smells more apple and pear-like than most IPAs/DIPAs. Thankfully, I don't appreciate any of the heavy caramel overtones or the rampant alcohol that are sometimes present in beer of this style.

This is a nice little DIPA, if such a thing is stylistically possible. It's nice to drink a big, hoppy beer that isn't caramel malt-intensive for once. The flavor profile consists of sweet pear syrup (the dominant flavor by far) with elements of apple, bitter grapefruit zest and candied pine sap. BHM is impressively distinctive and I like it very much.

The body is full and borders on viscous, but it's in no way thick or heavy. Actually, this is a perfect sipping beer that doesn't mind if you gulp it on occasion. The finish is long, lingering and hop fruity, lightly coating the mouth with a promise of what's to come with the next mouthful. Does this beer contain alcohol? It's entirely unnoticed except for the pleasant muzziness that is seeping into my brain. I'd better do less gulping and more sipping.

I like Blonde Hop Monster a lot. It's a DIPA for those of us who like the malt to shut up and stay out of sight. An interesting hop bill only adds to its allure. Great flavor and a first-rate mouthfeel don't hurt either. It's a damn shame that it isn't more widely available. Thanks to wyllder for the extra. Great choice.

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Photo of Jason
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$8.95 a six pack @ Charles Street Liquors, Boston, MA:


Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Decent foaming action, thin white lacing leaves a modest trail down the glass. The hazy golden hue shows some carbonation.

Smell: Big aroma of warm ripe tropical fruit, tree bark, pine needles and a faint fusel alcohol. Very aromatic in almost a pungent kind of way.

Taste: Very juicy, a tab pungent and puckering with lots of piney, tobacco-like, grapefruit rind and tree bark hop flavor and bitterness. A decent malt base with ample pale malt sweetness, almost sugary. Fuming alcohol in the end shows off the strength. The finish dries up quick with a long drawn out scathing bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and slick on the tongue, the slickness increases with a bold body showing after the carbonation drops out.

Notes: This is a rude Imperial IPA, it smacks the palate around until it can’t take anymore. Each sip is more blissful abuse … brews in the raw like this I learn to enjoy even though they don’t hold back.

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Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
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 feloniousmonk
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blonde, she is, cloudy, too, with a prodigious head, fluffy and white...looks nice!
Aroma, hops aplenty! Piney, spicy, fruity, oily hops...let's stick my sniffer back in the suds and see if I can't glean some more....hops are in full attendance, but it's all sweetness, and no bitter, none, nosirree! Pineapple is the largest flavor in attendance. Green apples show, too.
Taste: woo, sweet, woo, fruity! BeerBoy told me it would be this way, but you never know for real until you taste for yourself! Light bodied, just, barely, enough malt, bursting with sweet, sweet succor, only traces of bitterness. Almost too much for me, which must be way past plenty for many...quite a unique creation, but goes overboard in some areas, is too cloying with the sweet fruit, now, I swear bananas are getting through the gates, too, for Heaven's Sake,...bursting with flavor, but a little too much of one kind, I think.
If there were more malt, maybe, this would sit better on my palate.
Kind of soapy, too, these hops, wonder which ones...
anyway, neat little brew, can't see myself drinking too many of these, but there you go, that's the wonderful world of craft-brewing, coming up with crazy-ass shit and trying it out...why the hell not, eh?

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Photo of redfox405
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy golden color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a pale and bisquit malt scent along with a wonderful hop aroma that really compliments the nose. The taste is decent. It has a nice malty flavor that is rich with pale, light crystal, and bisquit malts. It goes down easy and finishes sweet with a bit of residual sugar. The hop content is good, but nothing that warrants the name hop monster. It's well balanced and easy drinking. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. It has a complex malt flavor and excellent hop character. This is the best beer I've tried from Paper City.

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Photo of plaid75
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper hue with a finger and a half pillowy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a strong resiny hop and solid soft grain.

The taste consisted up strong upfront peppery and citrus hop notes with a solid doughy grain backbone. Some mild alcohol notes were detected.

The mouthfeel was full.

Overall a good and drinkable DIPA. Recommeded.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Gueuzedude
2.24/5  rDev -40.7%
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 Zorro
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled through the Secret Bunny 2007 BIF and sinstaineddemon.

In the glass this is a chill hazed amber colored beer with a good white head but not Belgian beer type strong.

The smell is sweet and quite spicy in scent. This beer has a wonderful herbal aroma with only a trace of the citrus and pine that normally overwhelm in beers of this type. This beer has a strong cinnamon scent to it.

The taste begins sweet and bitter with a fairly strong wood and vanilla after taste. This is fairly sweet and decently woody tasting but the taste does lack complexity. Main taste here is the malt with hops being strictly backup. Fair bitter after taste and some citrus in it but it is simple tasting.

The mouthfeel is OK.

Certainly drinkable and not offensive, but the problem is that there are so many great and near great beers in the Super IPA class now that there is no reason to pick just an OK one.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
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 weeare138
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mucho thanks to Warriorsoul for supplying this via a trade!

Appears...a hazy straw BLONDE! Accompanied by a nice 3 finger head that lasts for more than a minute. Decent bit of carbonation coming through and pumping pumping away. Nice lacing spots throughout the glass.
Smells almost like the last IIPA I had (Stewart's) with a sweet biscuit like maltiness and a hop aroma with an alcohol presence.
Tastes a bit like the Stewart's too! Funny...they're both the same abv too...<que Twighlight Zone music>. Well, this pretty much tastes like the Stewarts with perhaps a slight more sugar present but it's close to being the exact same brew. Nice Citrus, piney hops present with a bit light on the malt side. IMHO, this is keeping it from being a "great" brew.
Mouthfeel is decent with the carbonation being right on and the hoppiness getting me in the middle and back of the tongue but leaving the front needing more. Drinkability is okay but more than a few in a sitting may be pushing it.

Finger licking good!

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
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 akorsak
2.8/5  rDev -25.9%
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 Fettpopps
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +5.8%
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 BGsWo22
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of Brad007
4.27/5  rDev +13%
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 Bighuge
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a murky looking orange glow/scarlet red thing going on. The head is bubbly, but minimal. Lace is intricate. The aroma is great. It's raw, resinous, piney and cannabis-like. It's even got a litttle caramel malt underneath the hop field paradise. My first thought upon sipping was, "Wow, an IIPA with some great malt character." Upon further sips, the malt character diminishes quite a bit and this does become the "Hop Monster." The malts lay some sweet, toffee-like background music. But the hops are forceful. And enjoyable. Blunt and edgey. Bitter and raw. Resinous and pungent. There's even a bit of an alcohol burn. Wonder what the a/v is here. All in all, this is a little caustic, but what the hell: It's good.

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Hop Monster from Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.
Beer rating: 61.3% out of 100 with 160 ratings
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