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Big Hoppy Monster | Terrapin Beer Company

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Big Hoppy MonsterBig Hoppy Monster
866 Ratings
Big Hoppy MonsterBig Hoppy Monster

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American Imperial Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Red Ale.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 866 |  Reviews: 592
Reviews by RandyKemka:
Photo of RandyKemka
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear rich amber with a creamy-like reddish tinted head that leaves a sheet of lace behind,boatloads of grass and pine in the aromas with an underlying butteriness but the massive hops steal the show.A sublime creamy mouthfeel a touch chewey this glides down very easily,a big hoppy monster this is very resiny and piney there is some balance to this monster though a sweeter brown sugar flavor really comes thru not as big sas the intense hops but very noticable and appreciated by me.A damn good DIPA here big and balanced a hop heads dream here.

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Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Hoppy Monster, Imperial Red Ale. I've been a fan of Terrapin since i had the rye squared.

A- Very opique dark red fluid with thick off white head that falls to a nice rim and froth with sticky lacing.

S- Raisins, plums and piney hop essence are the most noticable upfront. Carmel malts and barley on the backend.

T-M- Definitly a decent dose of hops with and excellent balance of malt to even out the taste.
Has a earthy pine-like hop flavor followed by a malty alocholic warmth that lingers for a few seconds after you swallow. Thick mouthfeel with little to no carbonation but creamy smoothness allow this one down easy. Great.

D- Drinkable in the aspect that one or two will do. A beer that is definitly able to be overdone passing three or four beers. Enjoy responsabliy. Best red i've had...

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Photo of blackwingedhorde
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Big Hoppy Monster is my first beer from Terrapin, a brewery I've been hearing many good things about. It pours into my tulip glass a deep dark red, almost bordering on brown with a half inch of creamy khaki head. Garnet hues shoot out when held to the light. Aromas of sweet, nutty caramel malts with a touch of brown sugar leading into a plenty of citric, piney, earthy hops. Quite a rich, hoppy aroma.

First sip brings a big caramel, bready maltiness upfront with a bit of molasses. Such a dense maltiness that wasn't really expected. Hops comingle beautifully with lots of citrus, grapefruit and pine flavors interspersed throughout the rich maltiness of the brew. It finishes slightly sweet and nutty with a touch of bitterness. A huge red ale that's at the same time very well balanced. Tasty stuff.

Mouthfeel is dense, creamy and smooth with good steady bubbles. I can see where the Big comes into play in the name. The label hits the nail on the head by calling it an Imperial Red Ale. I could see myself enjoying a few of these no problem, just wish it was available to me. Thanks to warriorsoul for tossing this my way when I was in Boston for the EBF. Now I'm looking forward to the Wake N Bake!

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Photo of blitz134
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First bottle review of this beer. I actually had this about about a year and a half ago and wasn't overly impressed...but the aroma on this is already much stronger than I ever remembered.

Pour is a dark crimson red, perfectly transparent. Poured with a white head that reduced to a thin layer. Aroma is pretty amazing. A strong floral and citrus aroma packs the nose on this one. Orange and tangerine predominate with some hints of lemon.

Taste is a little milder than the aroma hints at. Comes across with a good dose of bitterness, mainly resin with some floral and citrus touches. Nicely balanced with a good hit of sweet caramel malts. There is a bit of alcohol noticable in the finish. True to style and reminicent of other flavors typical of the Terrapin ale lineup.

Mouthfeel is medium to full and is almost oily on the tongue. Not much carbonation. Good mouthfeel for the style, nothing exceptional.

Drinkability is good as well. The touch of alcohol is what keeps this from being higher. But overall a good flavor and a delicious aroma is going to make this beer a hit.

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Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fascinating head on this one. Totally dense and thick. Maybe 10 tiny bubbles showed up on the solid head. It stuck around and made its presence known. Red red red body.

The scent was the best characteristic of this beer. Tons of lovely hops all over the place. I'd rather inhale this beer than drink it.

Tasted like how the label described it: "imperial amber ale." Not hoppy to the point of offensiveness, and I suppose the brewers achieved what they were aiming for. Sort of interesting.

Mouthfeel was solid and supportive of the taste.

Drinkability? I tried this again after my initial sample and I wasnt sure what so many people are making a big deal of. Its hoppy and its decent, but it seemed kind of gimmicky to me, and I'm more interested in subtlety these days than being hit in the face with a sack-o-hops.

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Photo of Aaron420
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one into a snifter.

A: This beer pored a little darker than I one would think for a red ale. It was more of a medium to almost dark brown with a small creamy white head.

S: Light fruity tones mixed in with malty aromas coming out. With a nice mix of citrus notes from the hopes.

T: A nice malty and hoppy mix. It has a heavy citrus taste come through for a pretty high abv.

M: This is a pretty drinkable beer that is very tastey but I would not recommend having more than a couple in one sitting.

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Photo of sponberg
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Monster Beer Tour 2005 on the label. Appropriate that the label shows an Ed "Big Daddy" Roth style drawing of a hot rod, as this stuff pours like Valvoline. Cloudy with a pillowy, solid offwhite head. Aroma of toasted caramel maltiness with some hop spice - subdued for what I was expecting.

Imperial red? OK - I'll call it an 8% American barleywine and be happy. Whatever it's category, this is a seriously tasty beer - starts with a caramel Munichy maltiness and a Cascade/Ahtanum (brewpub next door to work used this hop to good effect) tasting hoppiness, then a mild but balanced bitterness emerges along with darker fruit maltiness, before the citrusy hops really come out to play. Since it's a 2005 I wasn't expecting a huge hop bite - they've mellowed - but the hops present are citrusy, classic US hops which just balance the maltiness. I don't think a tastebud was left untouched by this - must be insane when fresh and on tap. Flows over the tongue and protects it for 15,000 miles. I'd grab another in a heartbeat, the third if I could find it, and the fourth... nah, save it for another night. Need to seek this out this fall when I head south -

This brewery's (OK, beer marketing company, but whoever came up with the recipes knows things) offerings impress the hell out of me.

 1,297 characters

Photo of jisom123
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

received @ Jackie O's in person trade w/ CWGuy5 from NC.

Arrrgh! This beer is SO good. Why aren't there more red ales with tons of hops dumped throughout the boil?!

Appearance is medium red, pretty much like you would expect. No yeast. minimal cloudiness.

Smells like perfect the combo of hoppiness and maltiness. No roasty smell. Simple yet well balanced.

Taste: great balance of flavors. Nothing is "off" throughout.

Overall: If you like 90 min, with slightly fresher hop profile and a more neutral balance, this beer is it.

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Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lots of tiny tan bubbles, I poured this one hard. There has to be some body to this brew as the bubbles are rising a bit slower than expected. Amazing head retention, deep chestnut color with a good clarity. Big aromatics from this ale, malt drops a semi-burnt caramel tone with toasted grain and the hops bring herbal and citric tones. A hint of fruit in the nose of figs and plums. Big creamy full body hold a bit of smoothness from the moderate amount of carbonation. Lush malt up front with deep caramel, toasted bread and dried hay flavors. Hops jump in quick with a very balancing bitterness, mellow citric is strewn everywhere with a hints of wild flowers and blond tobacco. Alcohol is warming but not hot at all, fruity with fig and dried plum flavors. Finishes bittersweet but a bit more sweet than bitter.

Yeah, its contract brewed but not for long as they are waiting for their license. Terrapin has proved over the years, as well as other beer marketing companies, that good beer can be produced through contract brewing. Big Hoppy Monster is a perfect example of that, very well balanced but enough hops to go around. I was a bit surprised of the size of the malt backbone, in a good way as well. This is one brewer to watch in the years to come.

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Photo of merlin48
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 bottle pours a hazy dark coppery brown with a thick beige head that scatters a lot of patchy lace on the glass.

Aroma is bold. Lots of bready malts exude notes of toffee and molasses. All kinds of fruity esters going on. Orange and pineapple hints are underneath.

Mouthfeel is almost chewy and close to full bodied. Low medium carbonation.

Taste is complex. Chewy caramel and toffee are prevalent all the way through. Pineapple marmalade hints open the fruit profile, followed quickly by orange and lemon. Hop bitterness somehow manages to balance out the huge malt bill.

Very satisfying. Any more maltiness and this might be cloying. I'd love to try a new bottle and see how fresher hops come through here.

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Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer Best enjoyed Before dating on the label "Vintage 08 BB" huh? Oh well they are trying to give the good beer consumer some info, just need to work out the bugs and make things more user friendly somehow... Pours cloudy dark reddish amber slight dark tan head, quickly goes to a thin film and the lace left on the glass is best described as simply minor. Grainy hop nose. I love hoppy brew and this is shows its hoppy character, not in the aroma or hop flavor department, but just slightly later in the experience in the bitterness area. This offering is crunchingly bitter. Quite an enjoyable experience when the sweet early malts are added to the equation. . Nice stuff, a ballsy high octane beer.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I struggled on whether to review this but decided to anyway. This beer was bottled Fall 2008 and consumed Dec. 9, 2009. I doubt this was what the brewer intended the beer to taste like but it was still enjoyable.

Pours reddish-brown with a dark, creamy head. Aroma is strong caramel malt, with a sweet smell. The aroma has a tea-like quality to it. The taste is heavy on the caramel malt and very boozy. Lots of malt sweetness and the tea-like attributes are in the flavor as well. Little to no hops are evident in the flavor or the aroma. Similar to a barleywine due to the sweetness. Very drinkable beer with a medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle courtesy of the man...the myth...the legend...Mr. AKSmokedPorter. Thanks again, Flash!

Poured a very "freshly-brewed iced-tea" color with a thick and sudsy layer of off-white head. Prodigious amounts of lace remain on the glass.

Huge nose here, gang. Large doses of fresh hop scents: Pink grapefruit juice, rind of citrus fruits, pine oils, and a very balancing malt backbone. Wonderful.

Flavor carries this big mix of hops and malt nicely. Lots of hop character: citrus twang mixes with the hefty caramel-toffee-dash of chocolate for a truly palate-pleasing ride. Finishes with lots of hoppy burps.

Great body, very chewy and "full". Barely any ABV noted. Effortless to quaff, this is a very tasty and solidly-crafted beer. Very well-done and much-appreciated!

 787 characters

Photo of livewire05
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Secret Santa jrdegriselles for the bottle of the 2006 BHM. Darker in appearance than the typical DIPA but the bottle says it is an imperial red ale. Not very hoppy in taste and smell despite the name and the malt is more pronounced. Very drinkable. A good brew but not really a DIPA in my opinion.


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Photo of jcdiflorio
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My 450th review thanks a bunch to Kwakwhore for the send. 12oz brown bottle served into a flaired tulip glass

Hazy,dark appple cidery color with a 1" creamy light tan head dissapating a bit quick to a creamy foam ring leaving spotty webby like sticky lacing. Tightly knitted very tiny bubbles surging from all arond the sides of the glass.

Strong perfumy hop aromas with a grassy edgy,not as aromatic as i would have expected. Sweet carmelled malts in the background.

Execellent balance throughout,complex taste,not quite the hop bomb i expected,but a good hoppy taste neverless. Very earthy with a very leafy/tea-like bitterness,clean with a sweet carmelly.nutty taste that has a good amount of fruityness. Seems to get better and better with every taste.

Smooth,medium bodied with a light feel and a nice tangyness. Suprizing drinkability has a lot to do with the name of the beer. Has a very pleasing aftertaste,mouthwatering, really wish i had another. Would love to try this beer again sometime.

 1,004 characters

Photo of WeymouthMike
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A rich reddish brown similar to that of the bottle. Cream color foamy head wich leaves a light lacing throughout consumption.

S- Malts, malts and more malts. Some dark fruit in there maybe prune.

T- Dark fruit again followed by malts with some rye as well

M- Slick mouthfeel with no carbonation

D- Very drinkable at 8% and I would like to have this readily available to me. I don't know why its categorized as a DIPA when it should definetly be a red .

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Photo of virinow
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of RyanPS
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of far333
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage, thanks to MuenchenerKindl for sharing

Pours a murky cherrywood color with a foamy orangey-beige head of lumps and dimples. Aroma of sweet malt, ripe fruit, perhaps a note of the alcohol, a bit of brown sugar and some orange citrus.

Flavor of sweet malt, somewhat earthy and grainy, but resinous as well. Lots of cinnamon and caramel plus some toffee for good measure, ripe fruit, bready and chewy. Citrusy hops, but more flavorful than bitter, and complemented by the rich maltiness that rides along.

Rich and full mouthfeel, with a thick feeling, very creamy and satisfying. Highly drinkable beer, gets more interesting as it warms, a good sipper. Thanks MK!

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Photo of kingjames1
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an impressive dark ruby. After all, according to the bottle, it is an (imperial) red ale. Thick, fluffy taupe head - very nice. Smell is biscuits and toffee - very rich. The taste is somewhat disappointing, given the name. The hops bitterness bites on the front end, but then is overwhelmed by the strong malt character of the beer - caramal and biscuits. Not bad, necessarily, just not a "hoppy monster" - perhaps this 06 has lots its sharp hops profile with age. You can tell that hops were in there (pine flavors mingle in with the bready malts), but they have subdued considerably (reminding me of the taste an aged SN Celebration). Over all, a rich, complex beer, and very sweet. A nice sipper. Creamy not suprisingly, but might benefit from a slight increase in carbonation -very heavy and thick. Given the richness, sweetness, and compexity, - and thickness - one is enough for me.

Having said all that, I'd love to try one of these fresh.

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Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 866 ratings