Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster | Terrapin Beer Company

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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 866 |  Reviews: 592
Photo of Onenote81
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been looking forward to giving this seasonal a try! Pours a deep crimson with a tiny head. What little is there dissipates to an even thinner sheet. Some spotty lacing. Smells of cherries, watermelon, alcohol, and some citrus. Very smooth creamy mouthfeel masks the alcohol content quite well making this very drinkable. Nice and balanced taste. Some sweet malt, but a nice crisp smack of bitterness at the end. This is a great red ale, and a sure thing for the season. Pick some up if you can.

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

Pours a clear ruby hued amber with a thick light tan/creme head. Beautiful looking beer. Nose is a purely hoppy red kind of thing. Leafy, malty sweet. Beautiful smelling beer. Flavor is thick with malts. Slightly sweet amber tones. A slight bit leafy. Beautiful flavor. Feel is a bit robust with carbonation and the liquid is as it should be. This is a damn good beer. Damn good.

Thanks to raverjames for another ridonkulous extra. Good lord.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sebletitje or jtrockchalk (both gave me this beer) for this one.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my New Belgium globe. This beer pours a beautiful red hued amber with a sticky 2 inch beige head that left some serious lacing. The aroma is hoppy up front. There are definite hints of both citrus and pine but there are also subtle notes of raisins and other dark fruits. The flavor is full frontal hops. This beer reminds me more of a nice DIPA then an American amber/red ale. The huge hop presence really out weighs any of the amber qualities that the beer might have. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a nice oily feeling. I think this is a great beer but rather misbranded. If I were reviewing this to style I probably would have to lower the scores because it really reminds me more of a DIPA then an American Amber.

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

Bottle from World Of Beer.

Poured clear dark brown color with an average frothy off-white head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy sour citrus hoppy and light malt aroma. Medium body with a slick texture and flat carbonation. Moderate to heavy bittersweet flavor with a moderate to heavy bittersweet finish of medium to long duration.

Very good balanced brew.

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Photo of Poser
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Darker pour than I expected. Deep amber with decent top. Aroma is pine and citrus. Taste is earthy malt sweetness up front. Obviously a bitter hop finish. Texture is sticky like caramelized brown sugar. Very nice... the-caramelized-brown-sugar-ness is a bit strange for my tastes, but I respect what they're trying to do.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased in Raleigh, $3. This beer was much darker than expected, more brown than amber. The smell and taste were also more barleywine than amber ale or DIPA or whatever it says on the label. I suppose there was a huge malt bill balancing the large amount of hops used on this, and the result was more similar to Bigfoot or other hoppy barleywines than it was to an amber ale (even a hopped up amber ale). I guess I'm in the minority that didn't care for this beer too much.

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Photo of Crosling
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby colored ale, with a large, long lasting head. C Hop, resiny hop nose with complimentary notes of caramel and toffee from the malts. Flavor has some depth to it, with a nice balance of caramel-like malts and resiny, super citrus-like hops. This is a pretty nice ale.

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Photo of bkilpatr
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 11/14/08.

Pours a deep copper-mahogany color with a thin half-finger of light-tan head. Aroma is full of piny hops and sweet toasted malt.

Taste is similar to the aroma. Very malty and sweet up front with caramel, and slightly sweet malt biscuit. That is followed by a bitter rush of piny and floral hops. Feel is medium-full body with ample carbonation. The finish is fairly dry and has a lingering hop aftertaste. Drinkability is pretty good. The alcohol is nowhere to be found, and it's really smooth going down.

Overall, pretty good. I'm not usually a fan of hoppy amber ales, but this one has enough malt to keep it feeling like an amber.

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Photo of johnd513
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes to MSchae1017 for this one!
This beer pours a nice reddish copper color wiht a small head that quickly disappears. Smells sweet and is nice and hoppy with grapefruit and other citrus flavors. The taste of this beer is sweet and hoppy with some grapefruit and pine flavors and alcohol at the finish. The mouthfeel has medium body and carbination and is a tad oily. Overall this beer is quite tasty and very drinkable. Drinkability is good. I could have a few of these but the high abv catches up to you. I am glad to have had the oppurtunity to try this.

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Photo of avalon07
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a reddish hue and a fairly clear consistency. There was a good half inch of foamy, long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: The hops dominated the smell, though you do get malt and some citrus mixed in as well.

T: Lots of hops, some toasted malt and citrus flavor. Well balanced and packs a bit of a punch.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Full-bodied.

D: On the whole, this is a tasty, well-made beer. It has lots of character and is very drinkable.

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Photo of mnstorm99
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice ruby copper por, with a nice head that stays for a little while and laces real nice.
Aroma is mostly malt, and with this amount of hops I would expect a little more of the citrus aroma from the hops.
Taste is real nice, biscuit malts stand out, but there is a nice malt sweetness to round out a great hop flavor from citrus to spicy notes.
Mouthfeel is nice and full, almost creamy and very smooth. Easy to drink (Imperial?) red ale, and the alchohol is very nice and subtle.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one more killer ass seasonal from the folks at Terrapin Brewing...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful....

That describes how the Monster looks with its reddish copper appearance and huge 3 finger head...

Sharp grapefruity hop aroma comes rolling out of the glass at me...smells nice and hoppy and bitter...that being said, there's also a certain malty backbone there that seems to balance this dude nicely...

Yep, its a hoppy monster alright. Not overly so, but enough that it satisfies the hophead in me...its a wonderful Imperial Red with its balance as well...

I'm liking this brew a lot....a whole lot.

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

thanks tayner.

pours a nice rich deep red. for a bottle from 07 it has a great amount of head. the one finger light tan head stays nicely for a few minutes then settles to a slight ring around the glass. a small amount of lacing clings to the side of my glass like it has a problem with something.

smell is sweet and rich. full of roasted malts. caramel, not a ton of hops. with a name like big hoppy monster i expected to be smacked in the face. im sure that part of that has to do with the fact that i have a cellared bottle.

taste is great. sweet rich and full. carmel is present, with lots of roasted malts.

mouth is sweet and smooth. easy to drink. especially as it reaches the mid fifties. good beer. yay

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

Appearance is deep ruby-chestnut in color; forms a small caramel-colored creamy head that dissipates to a thin cap and leaves a decent amount of cling on the glass.

Nose is full of fruity, grapefruit-citrus notes. Somewhat floral; amazingly inviting in nature. Makes you want to dive in and guzzle it all down.

Medium-full body and nicely carbonated. Full of bright, delicious, citrusy and fruity hop flavor and bitterness, with notes of grapefruit and a slight caramel malt backbone, and a noticeable warming of alcohol as the brew warms up a bit. Finishes fairly bitter and dry.

Drinkability is hindered by the alcohol flavors that form as the beer warms a bit, but the dry, bitter finish leaves a craving for another swig.

Overall, this is one hell of a brew, both balanced and delicious in aroma and taste. My home state of Georgia has been slow to join in on the craft brew revolution, but it's wonderful to see that those few craft breweries that have emerged aren't afraid to push the boundaries and are able to pump out such extraordinary brews.

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

Thanks to stopbarking for sending this one to me.

A - Pours a deep brownish red. Head is slow to rise and ends up at about a quarter inch. It sticks around for a couple minutes. Some lace remains but not too much.

S - Caramel and some bitter hops really dominate the aroma. Some alcohol shows up midway. A distant background holds notes of bread crust. Stays fairly light in the aroma department.

T - A big dose of caramel hits the palate first. That is quickly followed by some hop fruitiness - mostly grapefruit. Dark bread and butterscotch comes in midway and fades pretty quick. Finishes off with some dried fruit (cherry and raspberry) and alcohol.

M - On the fuller side of medium bodied with a decent level of carbonation. Finish is interesting. There is a high level of sweetness that gets balanced by the dry bitterness of the hops.

D - Drinkability is good. Not great, but still good. The high abv does place a fairly low limit on how many can be consumed. All in all a good attempt at a hopped up red ale. I would have this one again.

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

Very nice deep, deep burgnady. Cute head of dirty white pillows. I like the looks.

Smells like what I would call 'balanced.' Hops, malts, maybe a cherry scent. Very good.

I'm fairly impressed. The hop presence isn't exactly IN the taste so much as you can feel it on the roof of your mouth. On second thought, there's more hop flavor than I thought. It's just that out here on the west coast when a beer uses a form of the word hop in the title, it will burn your ass. Nontheless, this is a very tasty brew. I love a hopped-up amber. I usually don't like the malts to put up a fight, but this one works out awesome.

I was only recently introduced to Terrapin, through the generosity of a few good traders, and they have quickly gained my respect.

Overall: Daddy's happy

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Photo of gford217
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally get around to rating this local gem.

Pours a deep copper with a short-lived tan head that leaves bit of lacing.

The aroma has a big pine hops kick up front but immediately gives way to a big sweet caramel malt backbone. Interesting nose.

The taste is just as interesting and complex as the aroma. The floral hops and sweet caramel malts fight for dominance in the taste - pine and caramel in a death match for the benefit of my tongue...nice. Great taste.

The mouthfeel is sticky with hops and the malt sweetness with good carbonation.

I've been drinking this for years and have just now gotten around to reviewing it, but this is great, great stuff. I'm going to stock my fridge right now...

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

received this as an awesome extra in my trade with CrellMoset. Thank you!

A- Body is a beautiful dark cherry red hue and is perfectly transparent. Thin fizzy tan head fades immediately after the pour to a thin collar-which retains well and leaves behind no lacing in the glass.

S-Nose is light and very spicy. What comes through is a balance of spicy hops and sweet caramel malt.

T-Flavor is mostly faint caramel malt and a hint of spicy and grapefruit hops upfront. The spiciness of the hops really comes through in the finish with a hint of pine in the back of the throat, and a faint minimal bitterness. Hints of spiciness linger.

M- Medium carbonation and medium weight body, somewhat oily.

D- This beer is awesome. I haven't had a beer with this much of an accent on spicy hop flavor without the generally associated bitterness. Imperial Reds are growing on me and I am finding more and more that I really like. ABV is undetectable in this also. Not quite Nugget Nectar or Winter Yulesmith-but definately one of my favorite red ales. Thanks again to CrellMoset for the opportunity to try this.

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Photo of MSchae1017
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from a bottle

The beer pours a deep amber with a good sized tan head that fades after a while but leaves a good film the whole way down that laces nicely. The smell is a great mixture of citrusy and piney hops aromas and some malt aromas that are hinting at dark berry fruits (maybe cherries), caramel, and honey. The taste hits you first with the flavor and bitterness of the hops and then finishes out with the malty flavor again with caramel, honey, and fruit. The mouthfeel has a good thickness and a good carbonation and not too dry. Overall, a highly drinkable beer that is in perfect balance.

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Photo of daryk77
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

Looks good, deep red, nice head, thick an rich. Smells malty with sharp hopiness, you know what you are getting into. Taste is good, thick and rich with a big hop presence, just as expected. Mouthfeel is good, big body with malty tones and the big hop flavor and biterness, gives it a good mouthfeel but is a little overpowering for drinkablilty. Prob. a good thing because more than one or two of these might end a night early.

seek it out and try it!

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Photo of Deus1138
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, ruby red with a 1'4" of head.

Smell is citrus hops.

Taste is exceptional! It's called Big Hoppy Monster, but it's big all around. You've got a good malt backbone of caramel and toffee malts and some whopping grapefuity hops that stick with you. The hops definitely dominate, but this is very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Not a lot of carbonation, just the right amount.

Drinkability is excellent. Not one for a hop-phobe. But if you're looking for a hoppy beer with more to offer than just hoppiness, this is the beer for you.

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Photo of chaz410
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OH my god this is an amazing beer! First point of buisness, Thanks a million to Dustin from the Terrapin marketing team for letting us try this and also the 2007 version, I am honored to drink your beer!
OK lets just say this beer pours like a perfect beer. It is Dark, Amber, Light head that's defined but not overwhelming.
The nose is amazing! It is an amazingly sweet Hoppy smell without the bitter notes and a smooth underlining malty note that really lets the smell sustain for a while.
THe taste is unique to say the least. It has a high palate barlywine-like sweetness but really sends home the hops with a nice blend of malts so it hits all the wonderful notes of spicy hoppyness without venturing into the bitterness. The malts really round out the flavor. In the 07 version it is nearly impossible to say there's a "spike" of hops but more so a wonderful rise of spice with a good smooth rounding from the malt (fantastic).
The drinkability is for everyone but I would recommend it for anyone who is a decently well developed beer fan

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

A- This is an interesting beer, it is very dark brown/red. I've had a few red ales and this has got to be the darkest and reddest one of the bunch. The head was there for a time being and then left fairly soon after the fact.

S- Nice citric hop smell, as well as a good malty smell. The hop smell is sweet and dry.

T- Great malt taste with a wonderful hop flavor accent. This is a solid well created beer. It has a nice malt sweetness as well as a great hop taste.

M- Feels good in the mouth, a bit thicker, but it works for this beer.

D- Very drinkable. I wish I had this beer in a regular line up.

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

Rec'd in trade with JourdanUGA thanks for the hopportunity :)

Appearance: Dark garnet with a slightly beige head. A bit medicinal in appearance. Minimal head retention and lacing.

Smell: Oh this smells deliciously fun. Lots of malt presence with some pine sap, cherry, and grapefruit.

Taste: Medium body, slightly oily, extremely well balanced and smooth. Lots of sweet caramel coupled with a dash of hop bitterness. This red makes a heavy malt brew delicious for me.

Mouthfeel: I tiny bit on the syrupy side but a light syrup at that. Adequate carbonation and a medium body.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable for over 8% abv. This is a big red by all means and I'll be coming back to it often.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark red in color with a thick light brown head. Excellent retention and lacing.

S - Very sweet dark malt aroma. Very little hop presence, but this is the 2007 version on-tap so I would imagine the hops have faded a bit.

T - Very sweet, almost syrupy, up front. Dark caramel and candy sugar dominate. A herbal hopiness comes through mid-drink but is rather mild. Finishes sticky sweet. I would love to have this fresh to see how the hops balance the sweetness.

M/D - Medium to full bodied. Rather sticky but very easy drinking. Alcohol is very well masked making it very drinkable.

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