Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster | Terrapin Beer Company

Terrapin Big Hoppy MonsterTerrapin Big Hoppy Monster
866 Ratings
Terrapin Big Hoppy MonsterTerrapin Big Hoppy Monster

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.30%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Red Ale.

Added by rajendra82 on 10-09-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 866 |  Reviews: 592
Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.54/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Clear crimson hue, solid slab of creamy off-whitish foam above, slim but staying...

Aroma: wide-open, huge flowering of piney hop aromatics, just the kind I love! Grapefruit, and other citrus are at play, but pine needles are largest in the overall profile...sweet, and slightly bitter, stuff here! Very nice! I could just smell
his and smell this all day long! Rich, resiny, resonant.

Taste, already...bitter, but extra-sweet and fruity, a huge expansion in the mouth, a blast on the senses...a fierce delivery of flavor...huge, immense...big and beautiful...humbling...delicious...wonderful play on the tongue, bitterness, fruit, and more, keeping the senses busy with all the flavors at the ready.

Full-bodied, incredibly flavored, assuredly pleasurable for hopheads like me...dang it, but this is great stuff!
Let all hopheads know that they must bow to the direction of Athens once in awhile,too...and genuflect to the folks at Terrapin. This is amazing stuff!

"truly unique in taste in complexity", says the label. Well, I've had other beers like this, but they're so few and far between that it's useful to recognize each one that comes cross our path.

A humdinger from the Peach State! Cheers!

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Photo of GClarkage
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07/09/07- Received from BA Talisker as a generous gift...plus three other beers to be had later!

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness code, but has vintage 2006 on the neck label. Poured into my Full Sail pint glass.

Appearance- Murky reddish-brown in hue. 3/4 inch head upon pour with a light ring afterwards. Very light lace trails left behind.

Smell- Granted it doesn't smell like a DIPA to me, but it smells more like an English Barleywine, which I love. Super rich caramel scent with a minor in the hops dept.

Taste- Sweet and bready caramel malt flavor with a light faded and muted pine hop taste.

Mouthfeel- Thicker, chewy and sinewy. Medium carbonation level. Slightly creamy going down as well. Suprising bitter aftertaste, considering you can't taste the hops while drinking.

Drinkability- Good tasting beer for what it has become. Big Hoppy Monster after a year of aging becomes Big Malty Monster. Tastes pretty good this way, but I would loved to have had some hop action to go with it.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this as a throw-in from TempsPerdu. Thanks! Vintage 2008, served in my usual Surly pint glass.

A - It's red (coppery)! One finger of reddish-tinged tan foam that dissipates quickly. Not much in the way of lace. A few bubbles lazily rise to the top.

S - There's the obligatory citrus hops - largely tangerine-grapefruit, but there's also a pretty heaping malt backbone on this one that evokes a maple and bready character. There's also a slight booziness which evokes cough syrup a little. Not all that potent.

T - Bitter - there's a lot of grapefruit in the flavor. The taste starts on the sweet malty side with a touch of citrus, but slowly the hops overpower this as it moves through the mouth. Leaves a fairly bitter aftertaste as well. It's good but a little unbalanced - I was kind of surprised after the amount of malt presence in the smell.

M - Good viscosity and carbonation. There's a lot of tingle on my upper lip which is actually kind of refreshing. Very smooth.

D - It's a little bloaty and the bitterness can get a little overwhelming. I guess I shouldn't be overly surprised by a beer called Big Hoppy Monster. The ABV isn't overly obvious in the taste and mouthfeel. It's probably for the best that this comes in 12oz bottles - not sure if I could handle a bomber. That being said this glass went down pretty quick.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to blitz134 for this one.

Pours a dark amber color, nice carbonation, nice small foamy tan head which lasts awhile, nice islands/sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is pretty hoppy with some sweet malts/slight citrus and a nice touch of caramel. The taste pretty much stays with the nose, hoppy/sweet malty, with a nice bitter bite in the finish. Medium body, well rounded brew. Very drinkable, a very nice offering from Terrapin. Thanks again for this one Chris.

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Photo of sendbeer
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a goblet. I never comment on the labels of beer bottles in reviews but I'm totally a lover of the Terrapin labels, this one is excellent. There is no indicated freshness label on the bottle though. Beer is maroon, dark red almost brown. Forms a thin yellowish head that falls away almost immediately, minimal lacing on the glass. Carbonation moderate, beer appears to be thick.

This beer smells EXACTLY like a Imperial IPA. The label indicates that it is an Imperial Red ale (even though this really isn't a widely recognized style) and its CALLED the big hoppy monster, I would expect it to smell this way, but why not just make another IIPA? Tons of malt, alcohol, and hops. There is some funk in the smell as well, if you've had their Indian brown ale, then you know what I'm talking about. Here we go.

Surprisingly smooth. Feels acidic in the back of the mouth. Lots of hops bitterness, some sweetness up front but its less than I expected. I can't taste the alcohol of this one, and I thought I would. Second taste time. Finishes completely, almost no aftertaste. Some of the alcohol comes a millisecond after I swallow but it fades. That funk in the smell is in the front of the mouth in the flavor but it is not distracting and does not detract from the beer at all.

Drinkability is high, especially taking into consideration the ABV of this particular beer. It is completely unoffensive and well balanced. As far as how it fits into its style catagory, this is definitely an outsider, an interesting deviation from traditional "Amber Ale" but this is one of those beers that cannot be pigeon holed into a single style. I would recommend it and drink it again. Cheers!

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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

I dont know about "hoppy monster," but this is still a pretty good beer. It's a hazy red with tan head a nice lacing. Smells and tastes of sweetened fruit, cherries and raspberries, with a citrus twist. Tastes like there might be some rye in there too. The hops aren't too big, but still have a pleasant lingering quality. A smooth drink, not too heavy for the abv. This is what I'd call a nice example of a big American beer.

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Photo of brandoman63
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of plaid75
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep murky amber hue with a one and a half finger creamy thick off-white head. There was very good retention and good sticky lacing.

The smell featured a heavy earthy oily hop aroma with a sweet caramel malt element.

The taste consisted of an upfront citrus and spicy hop with an equally potent caramel malt. Very slight warming alcohol.

The mouthfeel was full with a relatively dry finish.

Overall a very good DIPA. High drinkability here despite the hefty ABV. Thanks to Aprilluvsbeer.

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Photo of WesWes
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a kick ass malt punch that boasts of burnt toffee and bisquit malts. It's breadlike with a ton of hop in there as well. The taste is awesome. This is a thick and tastey brew with lots of caramel malts and a nice hop balance. It goes down smooth and finishes a bit warm and bitter. The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a wonderful brew with a ton of flavor and hop character; a fine drinking beer.

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

This is the 2006 version of Big Hoppy Monster I'm reviewing.

Pours a dark garnet color wwith a fairly short head.

The smell is fruity and beefy, with spicy hops and rich malt.

The taste is rich and very grainy and filling- like drinking a grain soup with malt and hop accents. Richer in malt but less hoppy than past versions.

Mouthfeel is big, rich and creamy.

A little heavy to drink many of.

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Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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 eawolff99
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a. 12 oz bottle - pint glass. A stunning ruby red with some offwhite head and fine lace.

s. Bready smell from the yeast and malt. Some very faint earthy hops.

t. Nice hoppy taste with a honey like sweetness from the malts. Mead like at times but just a ton of hops and roasted tones. The hops are enough to keep the sweetness down, and it takes alot of sweetness to balance the hops. Alcohol esters present but overall not unpleasant. Hops are a mixture of grapefruit, pine, earth and lemon.

M. Smooth and creamy, very carbonated. Finishes bittersweet, literally.

D. This is one strong, flavorful ale. A nice red, and a hop head classic. The high abv limits its drinkability a bit, but in a perfect world this beer would be a staple.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish red with a solid offwhite head that left a lace ring down the glass. A great smell of citric floral hops and some sweet malts, more of an IPA smell than red ale as the hops are that strong. A strong, medium body that is chewey with a great mix of hops for a citric fruit taste and a dry backbite of some roasted, bread and caramel malts (caramel gives a little sweetness). A husky beer thanks to these malts that is a little sticky and sweet as well as the fruity, herbal hop bitterness that is a great sipper.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent ruby red with a nice creamy head. This has a really weird aroma for a red ale, but I like it - smells like a piney, citrusy, malt bomb to put it mildly. Has very active carbonation with tiny bubbles that continues long after the initial pour, I'm liking this so far.

The taste of Monster resembles nothing like the smell. The aroma is really quite mild compared to how it tastes. The flavor is quite interesting. The malts and hops dance on the tongue in a slightly prickly manner. The malts and the hops roll over each other so the sensation is malts, then hops, then malts, hops, etc. It's like the ingredients are doing battle to be the prevalent taste but one doesn't win out over the other, it's balanced very well. The malts resemble a toasted caramel and the hops are piney citrus. Has a nice wet finish and doesn't leave your tongue dry. For a red ale, this is pretty drinkable and I can see myself having two or three of these in a session (on a weekend, of course). For 8.3%, I'm not really detecting it.

I'm not a huge fan of red ales but when you intermingle this amount of hop goodness, I can't resist. The name speaks for itself - nice ABV and a tricked out red ale - this is a good one.

 1,225 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.01/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a Founder's pint glass. Excited to try this although I see it's contract brewed.

Thick. slightly viscous looking liquid with a hazy brownish gold out of the bottle becoming a bold copper red in the glass, almost like a oddly painted barnhouse. Alot of force on the pour only gave way to a half inch of caramel colored foam on top. Small spots of lacing.

This is not a very big hoppy monster I can tell by smelling it. There is some hop sense in a grassy earthy way but citrus is what the nose is lacking. Some grapefruit and pine if you search for it. Caramel malt is up front with a dash of honey.

The malt is just getting in the way here, it overpowers any hops in here. Seeing that this is an amber I would venture to say that it tastes like a Imperial amber/red with the bigness here, to bad the wrong ingredient takes the lead here, malts galore. It goes like this, malts, caramel, a dash of dark fruit and than some lingering bitterness from small hoppage, barely nothing.

The feel on this is big, a bit to big in fact, I feel this is a chore for me to drink with the diminishing returns. The body needs to be lighter, the hops need to be boosted, this is a typical example of a East coast amber. Give me a Nugget Nectar anyday over this. Medium bodied, kind of surupy, kind of bland.

Well, this was a miss for me, but I got through it. It's not a bad beer but it's lackluster as fuck. It doesent taste bad, it just does not taste as advertised. I will re review when I try this at Terrapin, I hope this is a contract brewed issue.

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Photo of John_M
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep amber red color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty attractive, consisting of some light sweet malt and some pretty significant, perfumy hoppy citrus. Flavors aren't quite as attractive as the nose, though I still enjoyed the moderately sweet malt, cherry and baked apple, with some nice hoppy bitterness in the finish. There is also a bit of roastiness in the flavor profile, which I find to be generally typical for style. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, and drinkability is really pretty good for the abv.

This is a very easy to drink, uncomplicated, easty to appreciate hoppy red ale from Terrapin.

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Photo of Latarnik
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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

Sampled through the efforts of DeaconBluez and the BCG BIF.

Pours an extremely dark beer for the style. Coke a cola brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light. A clear beer with no head formation.

Smell is light and VERY fruity to the nose. Aroma of menthol, pines and plums are the strongest. Lesser aromas of citrus rinds and brown sugar. Fairly spicy too mostly black pepper and cinnamon.

Taste is sweet malty and fruity with brown sugar and hops in the first sip. Good hops flavor behind the wall of sweetness. Lots of grapefruit and pine with a brisk lime bitter snap at the end. Long lasting bitter after taste without any of the usual woodiness. Lighter flavors of hops are in this too most unusually is lemon and lime in the sweet part of the taste.

Mouthfeel is good.

A very drinkable strong IPA. Probably too bitter for a regular beer drinker this is still good.

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

Pours a brilliantly clear, deep ruby reddish color. It pours pretty viscously and produces a light brown tinged tan colored head that is initially about one-finger thick. The aroma is of course over the top hoppy. Notes of grapefruit leap out of the glass, it is joined by a bit of raw herbal hop character and a bit of malt even manages to peek through after some extending sniffing of the aroma. The malt aromatics are quite dry and toasty, but overall the aroma is sweet, the unnoticed sweet caramel notes tend to only accentuate the citrus aromas that dominate this beer.

The taste is medium full, with a noticeable sweetness up front. The sweetness amplifies the fruity citrus character, but there is a lot of other hop notes in this beer. This thing has a fairly aggressive raw hoppiness to it that make the tongue start to tingle, and eventually just coats the mouth with a lingeringly astringent bitterness. Amazingly enough this beer is pretty well balanced, a ton of malt character was packed into this beer as well. It is not all that noticeable, but it really helps to contain the hops, which otherwise would make it seem like by tongue had been repeatedly flagellated with ripe hop bines. The more I think about it, the more I realize that the malt character in this beer is huge, this beer is definitely approaching a Barley Wine. As the beer warms a bit it begins to pick up some candied orange peel like notes

I was hankering for a hop fix this evening and this beer certainly hit the spot. Both the hops and malt character are so well integrated here, at least for a self-proclaimed over the top hop monster, which this beer certainly is. The hop character is ample and all over the place, but it is held in check just enough that it does not become too raw and abrasive. While I do like the balance between malt and hop, I would have to say that my one complaint is that this beer is a bit too thick. I prefer my double IPAs to be a bit lighter, and easy drinking. This beer is damn tasty though, so that is only a minor nit.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz EXTRA received in an already fantastic trade with GeezLynn.. No need Geoff, but truly appreciated!! Poured into my Delirium goblet.

2 finger head dies back and leaves very nice drapes of lace.. the brew is deep and dark amber..

Nose begins beautifully with great citrus hops but melts into thick and complex maltiness... caramel and subtle cocoa..

Flavor has a great bitterness with bunches of surprising malts that are abundant and somehow each independent.. citric hops and a bit of resinous pine.. burnt caramel and some chocolate malt.. very complex.. this is verging on Barleywine territory certainly... VERY American.. tons of hops and yet very balanced by the terrific malts.. body is medium with a smooth carbonation..

I've had this brew a bunch of times over the years, but the first time for sure that I've taken the time to review it.. I forgot how much I love the Terrapin goodness... Digging the handywork that is happening South of the Mason-Dixon.

Thanks again Geoff... proper trade! and a great trader who should be welcome with open arms and an eye for gots.

All 4's

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