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

On-tap at the Flying Saucer in Nashville.
Pours a clear, dark reddish brown color, off-white head. The head dissipates into a thin floating cap of foam, thin lace ring around the glass. Smell has lots of pine and floral hops.
Tastes much like the smell, lots of resiny pine met with a good dose of malt flavor, and bitter finish. Nice thick mouthfeel, good level of carbonation. Drinkability is very good, especially for a big beer. The flavors are well balanced, easily enjoyed.

Note to Self: Ranked #3 American Amber / Red Ale when I tried it.
Oct 2012 has fallen to #13

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.21/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

trade via brentk56

Pours a beautiful see-through ruby red color. Large tan head with good retention that left several lace rings.

Smells of floral and piney hops with dark cherry. Alcoholic fig smell.

Very syrupy. Dark cherry and orange syrup with some piney and herbal hops. Warm alcoholic "giddiness." Body could have been thicker.

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Photo of CoolJosh
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to the generous BAer who threw this in as an extra. Been really excited about Terrapin lately, I just tried their Wake n Bake recently.

A. The appearance is ok, typical of a red ale. A rusted copper orange with some haziness. A small amount of white bread head, that doesn't stick around long enough.

S. Very grainy, some bitter and sweet chocolates, a little bit of alcohol more sweet caramel then anything, some subdued hop notes. Very similar in scent to a barleywine.

T. Less smooth with some grittiness to it. No major hop presence, leading me to believe that this may have been aged a little too long. Nice sweet caramel and spices, some brown sugar, adding to the fairly sweet. Some slight roasts that come through on the end.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz 2008 bottle poured into a nonic.

A: Pours a slightly darker than expected clear deep amber, reddish color with a dark tan, yellowed thick head. Great retention on head and tremendous thick sticky webs of lacing. Lots of tiny bubbles of carbonation.
S: Citrusy hops almost overpowered by sticky caramel sweetness with a slight background of alcohol.
T: Very full, creamy body with light bitterness and carbonation. Very chewy and rich with a lingering sweetness in the finish. Very strong grainy, malt smooth body with not quite as strong a hoppy punch as expected, but I'm not complaining, very nicely balanced. My favorite beer from Terrapin so far, too bad I can't regular find any of these beers.

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Photo of ncstateplaya
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer poured a two fingered head that appeared soft and foamy with the color of raw chocolate chip cookie dough. The ale itself is a bright red with fine particulates in suspension. Tiny bubbles of carbonation continuously rising to the surface. A pretty decent amount of lacing throughout my unfortunately empty glass.

Smell: The most abundant aroma has to be hops, citrusy hops. There was a caramel like malt smell that is very inviting. There were also undertones of sweetness, almost like fresh oven baked cookies.

Taste: The hoppy bitterness and grapefruit flavor is tamed by the creaminess of the malts. Slightly sweet but not overbearing. In reference to the label illustration, the hoppiness drives this GA hot rod, but the malty characteristics keep this baby on the road. I like it, a lot!!!

Mouthfeel: The BHM has a great body, in your mouth it feels smooth and velvety, on the verge but not quite chewy. The carbonation accentuates the body of this brew.

Drinkability: Being over 8%, this beer could get me into trouble. Extremely easy drinking, very enjoyable, and simply delicious. I am truely a fan of Terrapin Beer Co.

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Photo of Brad007
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear red color with a thin head into my glass.

Aroma is full of malt and grassy hops, which is highly enticing.

Taste is smooth and full of sweet malt at first and then followed by grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is full of grassy hop and sweet malt flavors. Smooth. Leaves a very nice hop bite at the back of the throat. Not too overpowering either.

A very nice example of the style that due to the ABV, should be in its' own category. I can't quite tell what the hops are right off the bat but it's definitely one of the better examples of the style that I've had.

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

A - Reddish amber in color. Small thin head.

S - Strong skunky hop smell. The smell is living up to the name..

T - Strong hop punch up front with a huge malt undertone and finish. So smooth.

M - Medium/thin bodied. Wet hop taste is left on the palate.

D - So smooth and doesn't come with that bitter hop taste. Easy drinker here. Wow. Great brew.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 07 thanks to ericwo.

Pours a dark brown color with one finger of short lived off white head.

Scent of heavy, sweet malts, some grassy hops come through as well as some fruits and a hint of cinnamon.

Taste of caramel malts with sugars and some fruits. Finishes malty with a hint of cocoa. Not particularly complex, but quite tasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a dark mahogany with 1/4 inch of foam that quickly disappeared into a layer of fine bubbles

S - sweet caramel malt dominates but gives way to a bit of citrus hops

T - strong malt taste with the hops pushing through, almost a bourbon flavor as it warms.

M/D - Very tasty brew. There was almost a dryness to it that, along with the bourbonness of it, keeps me from wanting more than one at a time, but overall, very nice.

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

This beer pours a dark reddish cloudy brown with a 1 fingered light tan head with some lacing. The smell is of caramel and some hints of hops. The flavor has some nice caramel flavors, a nice hoppy after taste... not overpowering, and is balanced with a wonderful malt base. The mouthfeel is pleasant, the carbonation level seems low. for 8.3% this is a highly drinkable brew, too bad it is not available around here.

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Photo of badbassrandy
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not much head appears on this monster, but what off-white crown is there sits atop a lovely ruby-brown base of a seemingly thick brew.

The smell reveals a heavy dose of caramel-like malts reigning over the hops, and some notes of fruits, such as apple.

The taste is very similar to the smell, but the hops certainly come through. It's not what I'd call a "hoppy" beer compared to hop-dominated brews, but this is very balanced. A huge malt base (check the ABV%) with a nice sting of hop goodness. The taste is sweet maltiness, a top layer of hops and autumnal fruitiness -- not fruity in a bad way, just a subtle flavor of apple and such.

The high ABV makes this beer luxuriate over your tongue, though it doesn't exactly make it super drinkable. It is hard to put down though. I'm glad I got to try this very rare beer (in Maryland at least), and 7 of them, at that. Thanks for Carly Wright for driving from N.C. to Athens, Ga., to pick up this lovely and then drive it all the way to Maryland for me :)

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Photo of sholland119
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in trade from RustyDiamond. Thanks!

A-Great looking beer. Deep amber highlights at the bottom, a hazier brown at the top, Thin creamy tan head dissipates, leaving a nice ring and lacing.

S-Lots of malt with a strong pine hop presence.

T-Delicious malt in the front with some background hops. Not monstrously hoppy as one would expect from the name. Just kinda hoppy.

M-Light to medium bodied with a hint of lingering bitterness.

D-A very nice red ale. Would like to have had more hops here but quite tasty regardless.


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Photo of Drew966
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster pours a dark reddish brown with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is very nice, definitely very hoppy. The flavor is also very hoppy and there is some toasted malt. The alcohol isn't particularly noticeable in the flavor but there is a touch of warming. Well done, definitely worth a try.

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

Again, thanks to 7ways for another treat from Terrapin.

Poured from the bottle a bright clear ruby red color with two fingers of foamy beige head.

Aroma of big grapefruit and piney hops along with caramel malts, spices, and brown sugar.

This one tastes so good. Grapefruit and piney hops along with the caramel malts, ripe fruit and a warming alcohol buzz.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy, and moderately carbonated.

This is now one of my favorite red ales. Well balanced, smooth and creamy, with a big hoppy punch. A must try.

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

12 oz bottle I got from a lovely four pack from Five Points Bottle Shop in Athens, GA. Beer two of the Red Ale goodness. Served up in a Terrapin standard pint.

A: Pours a really dark amber that is closer to a brown than a red. The read comes out more when held to the light and this thing shines. Maybe it has a cherry wood finish. Got a good finger of tan head on this (expecting more of a white, pleasantly suprised) and has some decent retention as well. The lacing is incredibly sticky and notches the glass with thick lace and webbing all the way down. Just looks great.

S: Smell is of some nice spicy goodness. Lots of spicy and piney hops. There is some citrus in there as well. The malt really tones this down a bit in the nose and with a touch of wood this smells a bit like a nice whiskey. Caramel and brown sugar can be found in here easily and rounds this out wonderfully.

T: Taste hits you with some hops off the bat. Peppery spice comes out nicely, along with some pine and grapefruit. You think that this will bite hard but not so much. The heavy malt sweetness comes in and really tames this monster. The brown sugar is very there and sweetens further. There is also some nice notes of apple and cherry peaking out at me. Damned tasty and a fine treat.

M: Medium to full in body that has a nice, light creaminess to it. Carbonation is a bit light and it makes this one a bit more of a sipper. The aftertaste is mostly of some hop bite that really coats the top of your mouth. ABV is slightly noticable but just enough that makes it pleasant. So nice.

D: This one is a sipper that you really want to savor. I am not game for killing more than one of these in a night, but thats just me. I would rather nurse this and enjoy everything this has to offer. So pour a tall glass and enjoy. I know I did.

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Photo of PatrickJR
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear, deep garnet colored. A finger of pinkish/tan head rises. Retention is shorter than expected leaving some moderate lacing.

S - Amazingly strong aroma. Hops take center stage coming on with huge pine and citrus. Lemon, grapefruit, pine needles, apricot, and definite flowery/perfume-like notes. A big punch of alcohol helps accentuate the full range of hop aroma, while the malt backbone of brown sugar and coffee round things out.

T - Immediately the alcohol is noticable and the hops follow. Huge fruitiness. Apples, peaches, and even a bit of bubblegum come to mind. A hint of pine and orange and grapefruit juice follow. Buttery malt and a touch of sweetness hold things together. Late palate a piney, herbal bitterness takes hold but is kept in check by the malt backbone. Alcohol becomes very evident as well with a lingering astringency.

M - Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. What I would expect of the style.

D - Fairly drinkable for a such a big beer, the only detterant is the somewhat aggressive alcohol presence. Another solid hop bomb from Terrapin.

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

Appears a deep red crimson beautiful pour with a large deep khaki tan head, small bubbles form a tight lacing that has even streaks as it clings to the glass with each sip. Aroma offers up big juicy grape fruit, pine, and floral hops. Sticky malt sweetness with caramel and tropical fruits galore, like mango and pineapple. Slight creamy alcohol soothes the whole session. Flavors are great, intense bitterness with floral and pine bitterness and a big malty caramel candied sugared edge really great malt sugars infused with hops. I always knew I loved Frederick Brewing, even if Flying Dog owns them nowadays what a great contract brewer. Thanks Spike and John for coming into the Burgh. Keep releasing these brews in the Burgh and I will buy em up. Mouthfeel is fuller bodied with hop oils and alcohol simmering, what a brew I love every aspect harsh yet full of finesse on the palate it's hard to explain what a great drinking beer. Drinkability is awesome, I can't get enough I had Rye Squared while visiting Georgia, when my brother Dante' first moved down to the area. What an experience, I need to try more of these Monster beers. Including the Imperial Pils and Wake and Bake Coffee infused Imperial Stout. I love Terrapin plus I currently have a mixed case of their standard brews, those are just as good.

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Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: It's a very deep cherry-red color with a thick, creamy beige head that settles slowly. Retention is solid and the lacing is almost solid all the around the glass.

S: Nose is super--lots of grapefruit/citrus and pine with strong caramel and a sugary sweet note. Intense, bold, and big. This beer smells absolutely fantastic.

T&M: It's big, but a very gentle monster. The hops don't slap you across the face, but that's only because of the massive and awesome malt backbone. Pine and citrus are showcased nicely, but the sugary-sweet, candied, and caramel malt flavor is so big that it complements the hops supremely. The finish is long and sticky-sweet. Body is full-ish with a refined carbonation and a slightly oily feel. This one really fills your mouth out well and gushes flavor. I think the feel contributes to the overall flavor very well.

D: For how big it is, I put it down really quick. I'm sad I only have 3 more of these--I'll be gunning for a case of it next fall. Strongly recommended, but watch out because the 8% plus ABV can sneak up in a hurry because you can't taste a drop of alcohol in this beer.

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Photo of swid
3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big shout-out to tpd975 for sending me a selection of FL/GA beers. Thanks!

Big Hoppy Monster pours a deep ruby/near-brown color into my glass. A 1/4" tan head appears and then disappears nearly instantly. Low carbonation, virtually no lacing. The aroma is dominated by the hop elements, with pine and citrus being most notable. Only after the beer warms up after a while does any appreciable malty caramel aroma become apparent.

The taste of this beer is, once again, initially dominated by a pine and citrus hop bitterness. After about a second, a strong caramel maltiness comes through. A hint of dry alcoholic heat is detectable, but is remarkably well hidden for a beer of this ABV. Mouthfeel is light and dry. Finishes with a warm, citrusy bitterness.

Overall, an enjoyable beer, but one that's a bit too "extreme" for the American Amber style. If a Double Red/Amber style existed, Big Hoppy Monster would be a near-perfect example. Oh well, a man can dream...

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Photo of beckje01
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Reddish brown with a quarter inch of head and some light activity.

S- Semi sweet hops and a touch of floral quality.

T- The taste starts with some nice big hops but not really bitter a nice balance of the hops and the malt. The hops is the star but not overly aggressive or bitter this is a great way to really enjoy hops.

M- Great activity and thickness

D- A slow drinker but good.

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

2008 Bottling.

According to the label, the beer is still contract-brewed for the Athens gang by Frederick Brewing in Frederick, MD. I thought that Terrapin did all their brewing in-house now? My bad. Oh well.

A 12-ounce bottle with a hot-rodding, night-riding Terp' on the label, poured into my Terrapin pint glass yields a bright cranberry-tinted amber body with two quick fingers of light beige foam atop. The cap deflates a little sooner than I'd like, but persists at a broken sheet that leaves wide, fine-bubbled bands of lacing on the glass.

The smell is crisp and fruity with vinous notes of juicy citrus and smashed overripe red apples.

The taste is sweetly red grape-juicy and lightly tart with a fair bit of palate-cooling, tummy-warming alcohol. The flavors are crisp and winey with citrus hop notes and a succulent, dilute-juicy finish. The only real bitterness appears alongside a light drying sensation buried deep in the aftertaste.

The drink is light-medium in body with fine carbonation. A very tasty, juicy red ale whose drinkability is limited only by the 8.3% abv.

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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 BeerSox
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into wine glass (parents' house, no beer glasses).

Pours a slightly hazy red hue with a thin tan head. Although I believe the thinness is due to the dishwasher-washed glass (points are adjusted accordingly).

Plenty of citrusy hops with a little bit of a dark candy jolly-rancher like fruit aroma, almost like a barleywine.

Very sharp and spicy hops along with a little bit of a grainy finish. The hops give off plenty of grapefruit-like flavors. Full bodied. The feel is somewhat thick and syrupy. The alcohol adds a little bit of spice to the flavor.

This almost has the look, taste, and aroma of a barleywine, although with less alcohol. It's a tasty beer, and would pass well as a barleywine. The malts didn't come through as I thought they would. Try it for yourself, recommended.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A thin tan head tops the deep chestnut brown body of this excellent brew.

Deep, sweet dark fruit malt mask the alcohol presence that give way to a fresh hop presence.

Awesome sweet malt flavor and fresh hops combine to give this beer an excellent balance. Dark fruits most resemble plum, raisin, or something similar.

Medium to heavy carbonation, but a nice thin body accompany the unusual hop/malt balance.

What a great beer. The flavor and aroma have so much to offer and mask the generous alcohol content very well.

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

Pretty dark colored body, closer to brown than amber really. Small off-white head that leaves a pretty good amount of lacing on the glass.

Floral and citrus hops in the nose. Malts come through also.

Hoppy up front and hoppy in the back. Bitter, pine, citrus. Big hops with a solid malt profile to back it up. Alcohol doesn't really come through at all. A nice amber.

Mouthfeel is a little oily.

This is a nicely drinkable beer for its ABV. I've been looking forward to trying this for awhile, and I wasn't disappointed.

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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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