Hop Monster | Paper City Brewery Co., Inc.

very good
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 160 |  Reviews: 138
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 garcia2a
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy golden tone with a small amount of material that sediments rather quickly. Short lived head that left a lacy ring around the inner rim.

The bouquet was crist with fresh hops, malt, lemon zest and a sprig of yeast. This carried over well to the taste, which was stong with hops and a buit of citrus on the backend.

This is a full bodied dIPA with excellent mouthfeel. I would say this is a nice beer for a warm day. One or two during a session though, as it is filling.

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Photo of lpayette
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- pours a very cloudy/hazy orange with little head that manages to produce some lacing.

Smell- Hops... expected, but the smell really suffers from lack of a sufficient head. A deep whiff does however reveal a nice malt backbone.

Taste and Mouthfeel - I was expecting this to be nearly undrinkable from what I had heard about this beer, but I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. It's actually balanced fairly well by the large amounts of malt used. Don't get me wrong, it's still a hop bomb for sure but not so much so that it's undrinkable. There's pleanty of grapefruit, grapefruit rind, citrus, and pine flavors to go around. Mouthfeel is pretty good- slick... just the right thickness for me, but a little bit of an unrefined yeasty characteristic is present which isn't exactly what I like in this style.

Drinkability- Not too bad, I could see myself drinking a couple of these in a sitting if in the right mood. If you're a hophead, this one is a must try. A bit hot yet enjoyable, especially by mid bottle or so and after some warming.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled bought at Liquors 44. The appearance was pretty good: thick head and good, thin lacing with an amber-like blonde appearance. The aromas were wicked strong of, you guessed it, hops. To be more descriptive, there are also other smells such as citrus aromas, mainly orange and peach that I could smell. The taste definitely delivered a good punch of hops. However, the hops are not a "monstrous" powerhouse; more like an excellent balance of earthy hop flavors. Mouthfeel was a good carbonation, allowing this drink to be crisp. Overall, a great IPA.

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Photo of albern
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

If you like hops ... This beer comes as advertised. It pours a tawny, cloudy blonde with a nice white slightly bubbly head, with some lacing and resinous oils hanging to the sides of the glass. This is a full bodied, rather syrupy beer. The smell is oily hops, resinous hop esters, tart lemon, and pine notes. The taste is quite syrupy sweet, grapefruit puckering, hoppy esters and oils, ripe lime, some lemongrass, some floral waters, and a strong hop bite in the finish. This beer is strong on the tongue and will take something quite potent to neutralize the aftertaste and mouthfeel. I knocked this beer down a little because there is more throaty burn than I care for, and the alcohol is apparent, although not overbearing. Worth seeking out, but it is a big beer with a statement to be made. L'Chaim.

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Photo of Med
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice copper/brass color/ Head was slightly off white and a little disappointing. Lacing coated very nicely.

S - Amazing floral notes mingling with subtle orange citrus undertones. sweet and perfumy but not overwhelming.

T - Wow. Picks up where the smell leaves off with sweet fruity malts at the start shifting to the hops at the back of the mouth. Alcohol is noticeable but pleasant. Finish is clean and stays with you without becoming a dominant aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied with a smooth slightly oily feel.

D - I could drink these all night...

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - pours a deep golden color with a one-finger white head, very cloudy with lots of suspended fine sediment, not much lacing and mild retention

s - very unique aroma, strong peach scent mixed with some generic grape drink, hints of piney hops and faintest scent of alcohol, awesome scent

t - piney, bitter hops up front, mid-palate and finish are much like the nose, very strong peach mixed with some grape flavor, not much by way of alcohol, the fruits linger on the finish for quite awhile

m - good deal of carbonation, medium-bodied, balanced on the finish, not overly sweet or dry

d - pretty drinkable b/c the alcohol is not evident and the finish is not overly dry like some DIPAs, this could be a dangerous beer at 8.5%, that said, I could see these intense, not all that complex flavors, flavors dulling the palate after awhile

I'm very surprised by this beer. It was thrown in as an extra in a trade on RB. I've never tasted or smelled such intense peach flavors in a beer...it almost smells artificial. This is a very unique DIPA all around. Well worth seeking out this one!

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hops, hops, sweet blessed HOPS! Cloudy, unfiltered appearance with moderate head. Abundant hop aroma met with a sweetness more suited for a barley wine than an imperial IPA. Hops and sweeter malt character mix with viscosity on the palate to create a puckering honey-like experience that does not impart bitterness, but the chemistry isn't mixing quite perfectly. Solid finish. Probably not likely to spend an evening drinking these, but an excellent effort nonetheless.

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

hazy orange with a white head that held pretty well and left some okay lace. nose was of citrusy hops (mostly orange rind), some slightly spicy yeast and faint bready malt. taste was orange peel hoppy with a little sweetness in the finsh that cut through the bitterness just a little bit. fairly creamy mouthfeel with a little bit of a bitter, dry finish. dry, but not boozy. pretty pleasant drink. not bad at all. my first offering from paper city, and i would like to see what else they are capable of.

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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 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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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 Deuane
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Deep orange copper....but little to no head.

S - Slight citrusy hop scent but not much else...although I have to admit I had a bit of a cold when I reviewed this.

T - Sweet at first but became less so and had more of a hop forward taste as it warmed. Good bitterness with a lovely piney flavor.

M - Quite thick and resinous a bit on the cloying side.

D - Good but not great. Bit bit too sweet for my liking. I prefer a DIPA with less malt and more hops forward....this did improve as Hop Monster warm, but for me one was enough at a time.

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

poured with minimal head, which was a surprise and it may not be this was the freshest bottle ever opened, though there was no sign the beer had gone over. It was a rich amber, opaque but brightly colored. It was a bit sweet, but flavorful, with ample floral hops. In the mouth, it was rich and smooth, though not as lively as it could have been. Not the best Double IPA I have tasted, but not one I would be disappointed to spend time with again. I may test another one just to see if this one - which was a singleton I got in a mixed-sixpack - might have been a trifle flat. A little more life in the beer might raise my appreciation of it.

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Photo of jjayjaye
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy deep orange amber color with a foamy white head that resists fading. A swirl of infinitesimally small residual particulate from the bottom of the bottle sighted from the side. A nice amount of lacing produced. The smell is close to classic; primarily sweet malt with a wonderful citrus hop component. Medium bodied the mouth feel is adequately carbonated. A nice tingle from the hops. Full flavored, the taste is sweet also, but there is a unique presentation of the hop bitterness. That flavor is slightly sharper to me than i've grown to expect and that sharper piny acidic characteristic lingers slightly. Just an observation, not a judgment. It tends to make the experience slightly less smoother and creamier than some. Having a lot of fun with this one. The packaging has changed significantly....tribal brews rule!!!

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Photo of tgbljb
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy deep amber color with nice off-white head. Good retention and sporadic lacing.
Smell is hoppy, with strong scents of pine.
Taste is also loaded with hops with very strong piney notes. the malt seems to be completely absent.
Fishes with a nice dryness that beckons for another taste.
Easy to drink for an 8.5% beer. Very scary.

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

A: Pours a hazy amber color with a half-finger of foam. Leaves a thin layer on top and decent lacing on the glass.

S: Citrus hops balanced with some sweetness from the malt - a little bit of biscuit is in there.

T: For a DIPA this is fairly mild, but still damn tasty. The hops are strong and present, but not overpowering. A rich malt backbone of sugar, biscuit, and caramel back it up nicely. Alcohol warms a tiny a bit at the end but remains well hidden otherwise. Very well balanced.

M: Nicely carbonated with a smooth feel.

D: This is a DIPA that's easy to put down and enjoy. Definitely not as extreme as some, but a very drinkable one.

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Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
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 LarryV
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy amber color with a moderate head. Aroma of juicy hops. Hops are very assertive in the flavor with a raw intensity. The problem I have is with the sweetness of this brew. If it were a tad less sweet, this would be really good, but I find the sweetness quite cloying and it limits my overall enjoyment of this beer.

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Photo of Zorro
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
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 Jwaks
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving 12oz bottle

Great looks with a pale golden honey body, moderate haze, ample carbonation and unflagging finger thick cap of white froth that leaves abundant lacing about the glass.

A huge punch of hop aromas soar from the glass revealing great ripe tropical fruit, pine, grapefruit and floral aromas upfront with a bit of sweet pale malt, citrus orange and resins lingering in the background.

Floral hops and piney bitters hit hard on the entry eventually mellowing to a pleasing fruit flavors toward the mid palate. A tight bitter finish ties everything together neatly with more raw bitters. Sweet pale malt, grapefruit peel and a bit of resin linger on the short fifteen second finish. Wow, this is quality stuff!

Very full and raw on the palate, this doesn't hold back any hop bitters, it revels in them showing their pure, unadultered strength. A solid pale malt backbone and generous fruit flavors round out the bitter hops providing a great full mouthfeel; meatier citrus fruit and a bit more malt would make this exceptional.

Raw hop bitters set a moderate drinking pace, but with such complex hop flavors how can you not go back for more?

This was a pleasant surprise and I'm proud to say I'm a fan of this brew. Give this great Paper City brew a try if you come across it.


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Photo of dherling
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured out a slightly cloudy golden amber color, crowned by a half inch white ehad that slowly thin filmed itself. The nose was fresh, green, floral, piney hops, and sweet malt. Some fruit notes include pineapple and grapfruit. The taste is spicy and flavorful, with bitter hops present. There's a good amount of malty sweetness, finishing sweet and bitter. Mouthfeel was medium bodied, lightly carbonated, and somewhat slick on the tongue. Just a tad bitter for my taste, threw off the balance, but a decent brew.

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz into Bowtie glass
Bottle advertises this beer as a "big blonde beer with an unreasonable amount of hops". Let's see if it lives up to this billing

A - Pours a cloudy orange-yellow gradient with a small off white head. Lacing leaves concentric rings and that's about it.

S - A not so delicate blast of pleasant floral hops with a mild sweet malt backbone. Very hoppy and rather enticing, but alcohol is perhaps a bit too strong in smell.

T - The malt backbone of this beer allows it live up to its blonde billing, but certainly the hops are the most prominent attraction here. Malt is more prevalent in taste than smell however, leaving a nice sweet aftertaste to counteract the intensity of the hops.

M - Moderate carbonation engulfs the tongue and leaves behind a crisp and sweet aftertaste. There is also a slight alcoholic bite going on here.

D - Im not too sure on the ABV of this brew, but it seems a bit high this style. However, the combination of blonde and IPA attributes succeeds in creating an excellent mash-up that I would gladly enjoy again.

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Photo of mynie
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like a solid double IPA, very, very hazy redgold with a head that's more than respectable for a beer with such much alcohol in it.

That's a monster smell (a derpa derpa doo!). Giant hops and big, chewy bread dough. Similar to other good double IPAs--Rouge's, for example, in its intense yeastiness, but it also manages a very nice molasses malt kick.

Tastes friggin' intense. Giant dry hops and bigger bread hops against a doughy yeastiness. The hops are wonderfully big, but there's not real complexities to them. Just bitterness. The end has a slightly aged taste that works well, blending molasses with the giant hops. Not quite has balanced as the smell would have led me to believe, but good nonetheless.

It's nice to see little breweries taking risks. It's nicer when those risks end up as successfully as this beer. It's even nicer when those risks end up being sold in Iowa!

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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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