Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster | Terrapin Beer Company

591 Reviews
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.

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Reviews: 591 | Ratings: 866
Photo of NODAK
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The aroma is a wonderful, strong mix of piney, floral hoppiness with a caramel/toffee malt backbone. A very good mix.

Not surprisingly, it pours a nice ruby red color...translucent with a small, dissipating head.

Initially, the beer has a good bitter kick....then it turns very malty, with a mix of spicy earthiness and thick, candied sugar sweetness together....fading into a bit of a roasted note towards the end. A smaller hoppy kick comes back at the finish, helping to round the beer out on a drier note. A little roasted note hangs around after the swallow.

Pretty tasty beer. I like the style quite a bit and this wasn't a let down. Not on the level of some other imperial reds like Nugget Nectar, but still solid. Could have been called "Big Malty Monster" and still been accurate.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brown to ruby. With slightly off white head that fades fairly quick.

The smell is very refreshing. Lots of citrus and a little malt as well.

The taste is very hoppy as the name implies but I am surprised by the amount of hop flavor as well as bitterness. The bitterness on the front is quickly washed away by the sweeter with a hint of roasty malt, followed up by very sweet citrus hop flavor.

A pretty good beer and one of the better of the non hop forward examples for the style. A solid buy for sure.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- red deep amber in color. Finger of off white head.

S- rich caramel malty aromas up front with a toasted characteristic. Woody piney hop aromas in the middle. Alchohol on the finish.

T- caramel with a note of toffee at first. Very toasted with abtut more of an alchohol presence than average. Piney woody hop bite on the finish with a warming touch.

MF- sticky slightly syrupy mouthfeel with a full body and average carbonation.

D- one that you would take your time with. Ok drinkability.

Overall a solid imperial red.

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Photo of Gushue3
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very nice 1.5 finger creamy head into a snifter with a deep brown slightly red body. Looks very dark. retention and lacing is good.

S- Big sweet malty nose that's got some dark fruits along with mollasses and candy. subtly hop presence

T- nice sweet hop presence that is more bitter hop and sweet malt than citrus hop. turns sweet like candy toward the middle but turns dry and hoppy in the finish

M- Somewhat syrupy but thin? feels good with a higher carbonation.

O- Nice beer although i expected some more hops from.

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Photo of jisom123
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
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 djeucalyptus
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a ruby red-tinged amber that glows cherry read. a hefty pour yields a tepid half-finger off-white head that fades away to a meager collar that deposits minimal lace.

potent hops, rich dark malt, caramel notes, a hint of lemon, touch of honey, and more earthy, doughy malt. orange and pine.

tastes rich and potent. like the comfort food of beer. dark bready malts, sweet but not too sweet, and a hefty dose of piney and citrusy hops. well balanced while still being ferociously hoppy.

mouth is solidly strong with good, soft carbonation, a light drying finish that cuts through the caramel sweetness.

all in all, pretty solid. maybe I had it on an off night, but it wasn't quite all I was hoping it would be. that being said, still delicious and one of the better imperial reds I've tried.

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Photo of eclipse54
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle from jyounger30; thank you very much for this delicious brew! A 2011 bottling into an Alaskan pint glass...

The pour is a gorgeous, dark mahogany/amber color. Brown and ruby hues dance throughout the body as it sits beneath a centimeter thick layer of cream-colored bubbles that constitute the head. It dissipates slightly faster than I'd hoped, but that's a minor gripe.

The smell begins the wonderful experience that is the Big Hoppy Monster. The toasted malt, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, and bit of hoppy citrus immediately inform me that this is my type of amber.

The taste follows through with caramel, toffee, plenty of toasted malt, some orange citrus, and a subtle hoppy finish (read slightly piney and bitter). The alcohol is completely hidden. While my brian knows that this one should probably be sipped, by mouth prevents that from being possible. This thing was gone before I knew it, and I was very sad.

The mouthfeel is phenomenal; very smooth throughout, and the additional hop presence prevents it from becoming too sticky or sweet on the finish.

This is a very well done amber, and my favorite to date. I probably should have rated it higher still, but I wanted to leave room should I discover something else on/above this level. My only complaint with it is that I cannot buy it locally, for this would be a staple of my fridge. Jay, I cannot thank you enough for this one!

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Photo of MacQ32
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a right mahogany with a might mocha colored finger of head. Superiors lacing, decent retention as well

S - Strong malt/caramel and dark fruit (raisin/prune). Hoppy aromas as well but they are well dominated by the malt.

T - Cherries, raisins, serious maltyness up front and a strong citrusy/spicy hop presence at the finish. Some alcohol obvious, but in a good way.. a nice robust brew

M - I don't know if I'd drink 4 of these at once. Heavier bodied, thick, low carbonation, and fairly potent. Delicious though

O - Overall this beer is delicious, more of a sipper for sure but always a treat when I have the opportunity to bring some home. Great brew

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Photo of Klym
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a stone nonic. Huge thanks to Kenm2118 for the bottle-- great throw in!

This beer was really not what I was expecting, but still quite good. Poured a date like brown with major syrupy texture and barely any head. Huge dark fruit in the nose, and the taste is dominated by major dark fruit sweetness with a temperate but very well crafted hoppiness hanging over it. A little bit of coffee and caramel in the finish.. definitely much more of what you'd expect from a barley wine than an amber. Not the drinking experience I was anticipating but a really good one nonetheless. If you like this and can handle a bigger ABV, I'd recommend old howling bastard from bluepoint.. very reminiscent of it for me.

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Photo of hippityhophead24
4.61/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a really nice dark red color with a thick frothy brownish head. Head fades fast within 30 seconds. Depending on the lighting you are in, one might think that this is a very dark brown ale.

Smell: First aromas are of raisons or dried Turkish figs. Has slight sweet caramel and malt notes. Not too much hop aromas.

Taste: On the front, it has a extreme sweet, slight tart cherry flavor. A little raison and grapefruit flavor in there as well. Very sweet malts, nice caramel flavor. Not too much heat, but has a nice sweet lingering flavor. Again, not too much hop flavor as the name would suggest. But this isn’t an IPA, it is a Red Ale, and a good one at that.

Mouth feel: Nice carbonation. Smooth on the tongue and smooth, creamy finish. Medium body.

Overall: I think this is a great Red Ale. I had it in 2010 and enjoyed it just as I did this year. Well balanced, good body, with lots of great sweet fruit flavors and a bit a caramel/malt flavors coming at you. Definitely a recommendation for the turtle heads that love Terrapins brews.

Glassware: 12oz bottle into snifter.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sent to me in a trade (Thanks Kevin!)

Pours a very very dark red. Almost brown/copper color. Very thin white head that goes away fast.

Smells of raisins and other dark fruits with some sweet malt/caramel. Very little hop profile in the nose as malts dominate.

Taste is very malt forward. For something called Big Hoppy Monster the hops are nowhere near the malts on this. More raisins and sweet caramel in the taste. Almost a profile of more of a slightly hoppier Belgian than an American red.

Mouthfeel is a little bit low considering the sweetness of the brew. Carbonation levels are med-low.

Really kind of disappointed in this. It's not bad, but I'd expect something with this name to be considerably hoppier than it is and not a fan of the dark fruit profile. I've got some other Terrapin brews that I hope I'll like better.

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Photo of Janderson91
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage. Enjoyed on 08/04/11.

A - 12oz bottle into a snifter. A very deep ruby red almost purple color. Clear with a small tan head that recedes quickly. Leaves little lacing down the sides.

S - Dark fruits and huge malts, with some hoppiness as well. Cherries, raisins, caramel, grapefruit hops, very good.

T - Follows the nose. Cherries, raspberries, plums, raisins, all covered in caramel and some spicy hoppiness to balance it out.

M - Mouthfeel is full with little carbonation. Might like a hint more carb.

O - Overall, this is a very good beer, a sipper for sure. Terrapin rocks.

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Photo of PCampbell
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a great dark brown with a thin off-white / cream head that laces along the edges.

Has a heavy intermingling smell of dark fruits and malts and spicy hoppiness to it. Has a much more malt forward flavor to it with bready and caramel characteristics, hops come in at the end with some grapefruit and lemon. Has a more fuller mouthfeel to it with a fair amount of carbonation.

Wouldn't say its big and hoppy, but it is big and malty. A very tasty beer none-the-less, definitely worth picking up if you get the chance.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Pours out a hazy maple syrup brown color. An aggressive pour pulls out a orange creamcicle colored head with various different sized bubbles. After a few sips (or gulps) this beer shows a nice sheet of lacing all around the glass. After it settles for a little bit it almost looks like muddy water from a distance, which is why it didn't get a slightly higher score.

Smell is awesome, biiig time hoppy. Mostly grapefuit citrus and sappy pine, it's all good here. The hoppy aromas certainly back up the name of this beer; but don't be fooled, there's quite a bit of malt going on here. Smells pretty sweet too, certainly plenty of roasted caramel malts, almost a warm sugar smell.

Taste is as equally excellent as the smell. Grapfruitiness again in the taste, but also some additional orange zest. Plenty of pine flavors as well. Name is certainly backed up in the flavor as well, but this brew still has a big malt backbone. So much roasted caramel malted barley here. It doesn't taste bready, but there's sort of an liquor soaked citrus pound cake. So it's stilll pretty sweet after the initial bitter bite. I know I mentioned it, but a slight boozy flavor that's not overwhelming.

Certainly a full bodied beer and surprisingly rich and smooth. Well balanced and BIG on both ends. The yeast particles are visible but not as easily detectable in the the mouthfeel. Very drinkable but I recommend this one to be a sipper. Even though the alcohol is present, the 8.3 ABV is deceiving. Overall this is quite an awesome brew. Only my second Terrapin brew, but I want more!

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Photo of Jayli
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from SamuelJackson45 via LOKO for Locals so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours a murky amber color with a one finger of foamy, khaki head. Head recedes immediately and leaves nice sheets of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is big roasty, caramel malts, and piney, citrus hops.

T: Taste is more of a malt bomb at the forefront. Sweet caramel malt notes nicely balanced with a solid roasted malt profile. The sweetness carries in the end of the beer where the pine and lemon, grapefruit citrus come in.

M: Medium to fuller bodied, medium carbonation, crisp, clean body.

O: Goes down easily, tasty, mildly filling, decent kick, nice representation of style. Is it a hop bomb? No, it's more of a malt bomb that is blended nicely with the hop profile. A nice beer.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philadelphia, PA

Somewhat resembled a Scottish ale or barleywine. Not bad. Poured out reddish-brown with a small beige head that left an oily lace. Lots of pine and citrus hops in the nose, caramel malts and some light fruits. Sweet with caramel in the taste, earthy, with citrusy hops flowing through mid-palate; pine and sugar, and a bit of noticeable alcohol taste. Medium mouthfeel, and a bit filmy. Overall quite drinkable.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to VG for sending this my way!

A: Pours a murky red/amber with a one finger tan head that reduces a little, but a 1/2 finger head lasts for most of the rest of the time drinking this beer. Some foamy lacing formed around the entire glass.

S: Certainly hoppy, not sure if its a hop monster (will let the taste judge that aspect). Nice combination of pine and some orange as well as a little bit of spice, almost cinnamon. Pretty good dose of toffee and caramel as well.

T: Quite like it, not hoppy like an IPA, but a well done hoppy red ale, which was the goal. A little bit of bready malt, caramel and sugar as well as some pine and orange. A slightly bitter finish that is more on the sweet side.

M: Medium to full bodied, nice carbonation level giving it a bit of a creamy feel to it.

O: A well done beer, doesn't quite live up to some of the other hopped up american amber/red ales, but this one holds its own.

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Photo of richkrull
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a darker reddish brown color with some beige head and lots of lacing.

Smell is malty and spicy. Very nice.

Taste is pleasant. Lots of malt throughout with sone nice spice in the finish. Not much hop flavor to speak of.

Mouthfeel is medium-full especially for an amber. Smooth drinking beer though.

Overall a very good beer. I really enjoyed it. I'd definitely buy/ trade for it again.

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Photo of DWilliams76
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From my notes. A giant, giant beer, and one that completely changes after about eight months on the shelf. Fresh, the name fits. Old, eh. So let’s go with the fresh: Very citric and piney, but with an orange-glazed cinnamon bun heart, this beer screams largess. The hops give a lovely grapefruit slant to the brew, but the super-sweet malts get a bit thick as the alcohol seeps its way into your internal ketchup. One a night is plenty, for damn sure. But you’ll be glad you drank it.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice looking red color with a yellowish white color. The head was a little on the fizzy side, the lacing wasn't too strong on this one. The smell was hoppy with a little sweet malts in the back end. The taste has some caramel malts up front giving off a sweet flavor that's quickly attacked by the bitterness of the hops. Mouthfeel is a bit tingly. Overall it's not a bad brew and probably worth trying again.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Taken from notes on 3.24.11

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a deep reddish-brown with a thick, bubbly medium tan head.

S - Malts, and sugars.

T - Sweet malts, slightly hoppy, with a coffee finish.

D - Pretty sweet, no booze flavor or burn.

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Photo of sendsilk
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A- Very dark and murky. Cloudy and dark brown, not really 'amber".

S- But it smells pretty good once I get past the dark color. Citrusy and viney smelling. I can practically taste oranges in the smell.

T- Wow, that's sharp. Hits you pretty hard, very nice though. I'm really liking this taste. Hoppy but not at all bitter, very citrusy with a sharp tart bite at the end. But not at all sour.

M- Pretty much dead on IMO

O- Picked this one up on a whim but I will definitely grab another soon.

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Photo of shand
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a muddy brown color with half a finger of head. Retention and lacing are poor. This smells a lot like a malty IPA. The thick, dank hops pair well with the bready caramel malts. The taste is much less hop-forward than the nose would suggest, but is still good. Closer to a slightly hoppy strong ale, if anything. It's fairly boozy, with a solid hop backbone to stop it from getting too malty and boozy though. Dark fruits are ever-present, along with some unexpected roastiness. Well-balanced, but not quite superb.

The mouthfeel is nice, it's thicker and nicely carbonated. The drinkability is pretty good, I had no problems finishing the glass, but would have problems finishing two. Overall, this is a good beer. It's not excellent, but something I'm glad I was able to enjoy.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A vintage 2009 12 oz bottle pored into a terrapin pint glass

A - a cloudy dark amber red. It looks creamy, with a nice head and lace retention.

A - very sweet. Caramel malts overwhelm here. Citrus hops are very present too. Smells amazing

T - Like it smells, the sweets malts are very upfront. Caramel, toffee malts kick in hard and fast. It is then balanced out by the hops. Surpringly, it is not as hoppy as I expected. The hops compliment the crystal malts perfectly.

M - Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Very smooth.

D - very high drinkability. This is one of my favorite beers, and is the one that turned me onto Terrapin. One of my favorite releases that I look forward too every year!

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Photo of 3dudesbeerblog
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The name alone is what attracted me to this brew. Like Hopsecutioner, this one came fresh out of Athens, GA where Terrapin Brewery Co. calls home.

The name was not misleading. This monster pours out a menacing dark amber color with an off white 2 finger head.

The aromas jumping out of the glass were those of dark fruits, roasted malts, and obviously hops.

The monstrous amounts of hops were balanced out by even greater amounts of malts is what the label says. This is evident by the dark fruity flavors and the barleywine-like sweetness this beer possesses. There was an obvious booziness as well, which I didn’t mind as it didn’t fight with any of the complexity of the beer.

I was a little scared of the monster’s color when poured, since I’m not the biggest fan of dark beers in the summer months, however I was pleasantly surprised by how light of a mouthfeel Big Hoppy Monster possessed, leaving my tongue with a crisp hop residue after each sip.

I really enjoyed the complexity of this beer and can’t wait to try it again.

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Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 866 ratings.
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