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 barleywinebrewer
3.16/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm reviewing this as advertised - DIPA. Call it an Imp red or such and it would improve dramatically.

A - Rich ruby red brew, nice billowy head.
S - Rich malts, candi sugar, ripe fruit and a touch of hops.
T - dark belgian candi sugar, ripe fruit with a mild unertone of citrus hops.
M - rich swirling flavors, smooth drinking and mildly carbonated.
D - very drinkable. ABV is subtle and does not overwhelm this brew.

Like I started, a tasty brew no question. A DIPA or hops monster it isn't.

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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 phishgator
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. The color is a deep mohogany/red. It follows the named style on the bottle "Red Ale". The head is a slight rosed tinted and of good size. The brew looks a lot like a Scottish Ale. The aroma is spicy hops up front and then a little caramelized sugar and a touch of floral hops. The taste is bitter through out, but with a harsh metallic taste to it. There is a strong malt profile that tries to mellow out the hops, but it's never able. The body is medium. I would say that this is a brew that I would like to drink more of to see if my tastes will change. Nonetheless, this is good brew to try.

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Photo of John1985
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ale pours with a deep dark red with a half inch head. Aroma has pungent sweet malt, raisins and alcohol present. Flavor is dominated by the malt with just enough hops to balance. Aftertaste is smooth, hiding the strength of this heavyweight. Mouthfeel is very substantial and pleasant. Although this is a sipping ale, drinkability is great (I'm on my third which is unusual for me).

This ale does not have enough bitterness to be classified as a double IPA.but is more of a barleywine or old ale. Regardless of the classification, this is a great winter offering and a worthy choice as my Christmas Day beer for 2006.

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

A- 1/2" tan head on a lightly cloudy deep amber body. Lacing sticks to glass quite a lot and a nice collar with a thin amount covering the top of the beer.
S- Big hop smell but with a nice caramel malt background. Has some grapefruit, some light orange, and maybe one or two other fruits. Well balanced smell though.
T- Taste a lot more of a red ale than it does a DIPA. Big malts with equal amount of hops. Leaves a dry taste from what seems like the malts and some grass hops working together. Has a bitterness that isn't overpowering and kind of blends in with the rest of the beer. I think the malts come through most though. Some breads come through also. Is a bit watery too.
M- Medium to full body with a lower carbonation.
D- It is very good. If any beer (that I have tried) deserves the title of a Imperial red ale it would be this one. I think they hit it on the head perfectly. This is a very nice easy drinking big beer though.

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

12oz. bottle. 2006 Version. Thanks to bobbyc881 for the opportunity to try this monster.

Clear copper color, with a medium sized, but very rocky, tan head.

Aroma gave me a lot of peaches, followed by molasses. Some alcohol pops through (big surprise at 8.3%). Hops are not as dominant as I expected. The smell seems really sweet....famous last words....

Taste is a honey drenched biscuit. Hops show up next, and seem to have a floral character. Both tastes linger into the aftertaste. Alcohol is there, but never obnoxious. For a DIPA, this seems very well balanced.

Medium + in body. Medium carbonation. Pretty drying. Alcohol warming kicks in quickly.

Not a session beer, but this one makes a hell of a winter brew. Not sure I would call this a hoppy monster, but I have to respect the balance that it manages. I would happily drink this again, and be even happier after two!

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A DIPA that really snicks up on you.

Poured a thick and hazy brown in color. Thin filmy head that never completely dissolved. Rather sticky actually and it clings to the sides. Nose is malty but with a strong salt water taffy aroma.

Oddly enough the flavor is not so much a typical DIPA. Not incredibly strong hops. More of an American strong ale in my opinion. The malts are sugary sweet and very pronounced. Hops do provide a nice balance and in a way that keeps the beer from being sickly candy sweet. Very full mouthfeel that just sticks to the gums and cheeks. Extremely drinkable. The alcohol is nicely hidden.

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Photo of deejaydan
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber red, almost like raspberries. Cloudy. Minimal head and little retention to speak of. Aroma is piney, resinious, hoppy. Taste is nicely balanced, there are hops there to be sure, but this is not a hop bomb by any means. It's balance, and that makes it nice.

Mouthfeel is nice, slightly drying and minerally. Full and thick though.

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Photo of doppelmeup
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very pleasantly surprised by this beer. I bought a four pack for a trade, and had a couple left so I decided sample one of these higly rated brews for myself.

Listed on BA as a double IPA, I was expecting a bright orange grapefruit/pine/hop bomb. I don't think this style is correct for this beer. The label describes it as an Imperial Red Ale, and this is right on the money.

The beer pours a dark amber red into a pint glass with a rich, thick head that slowly fades and leaves great lacing all the way doen the glass.

Aromas are full of cut grass and chocolate malt. A strong rye presence and some citrus balance this out. Very multidimensional.

The taste is absolutely awesome! There are so many flavors it's hard to list them all. Chocolate, rye, spicy hops, fruity. Very hoppy yes, but definitely not a hop bomb. This is one of the best beers I've had!

Mouthfeel is both hoppy and dry and slick and malty at the same time. The high ABV is completely hidden.

Overall, this is one of the best beers I've had. It just screams DRINK ME! Don't pass this by if you see it on the shelves!

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

Poured well with a minimal amount of cream head atop a golden amber-colored brew. The hoppy aroma blasts out of the pint, very piney with hints of caramel. Makes the mouth water...

The taste is truly great. It's tangy, and the hops hit the tongue well without overwhelming the senses. Notes of herbs here, perhaps barley? The mouthfeel is quite smooth for a double IPA, almost glassy on the tongue with a low carbonation. I could easily have three to four of these without getting bored with the taste/smell/drinkability.

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Photo of Vancer
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What an awesome pour – deep mahogany red oak topped with a lip smacking ivory head that laces quite nicely. That lil’ yeast sludge on the bottom always rates extra points. Top notch pour.

Good aroma of woody rye, then the quaff – deep pop of earthy hopsickel. Solid taste of malt and rye, a very nice combination for a brew. Try this one and this style – I luv it.

A big thanks goes to blackie in North Carolina for this treat! This guy is a topper!

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Photo of psinderson
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy dark amber color with a thin off-white head.

Smell: A great combination of bready, caramel malts and grassy, citrus hops. Neither seems to overpower.

Taste: This is where the hops take over. A pungent hop punch hit you immediately surrounded perfectly by a fruity malt character. Some apples and maybe honey(?) are present. Very complex taste. Finishes very clean with only a slight pleasant bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied goodness. The dueling hops and malt feel good.

Drinkability: This could be a dangerous beer. It hides the ABV well with a clean finish. The big malt backbone may make this more difficult to drink for some.

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

I really like the Amber Ales hopped up to IPA proportions. They are much more malty, bready, toasty, and bold. The trick is balancing the hops (and adding enough of them) to stand out above the richer malt character. This beer does so beautifully. An unwavering malt base holds together from the initial sip, through the flavor, through the firmness, and well into the finish. The hops show flavorful and aromatic citrus and pine qualities, then intensify into a pleasant and dominating bitterness. Never any sharpness, weakening, or graininess at any point. Alcoholic heat and power shows up late, but does not deter. Much like a North Coast Red Seal, but amped up quite a bit.

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Photo of hops4me
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was really looking forward to this one as I liked their rye pale ale. In the glass it was a deep opaque amber to red color with little "bits" in suspension. A cream colored head quickly fell leaving behind a ring of lace in its place. Smells of grapefruit and pine. Thick chewy full body. Big malt fruitiness with residual toffee sweetness. Nice citrus and earthy hop bitterness and flavor. This is a very good beer. As other reviewers have stated this is not a DIPA as the hops do not attack the senses quite like DIPAs do. Drinkability is high and I will likely buy a few more before they disappear.

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Photo of ruleof72
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours nice with a very dark reddish caramel color and leaves a very creamy head. Good lacing.

Smells of a pine forest with hints of lemon and orange.

Taste is a whollop of hop flavor followed up very quickly with the sweet fully toasted malt flavor

Mouthfeel is full bodied with lighter carbonation

Drinkability is very good but the high abv forces moderation, at least if you have to do something the next day.

This is an excellent beer and I am proud to say it is made by a local company. Very good example of strong red ale.

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber, almost crimson in colour. Thick and luscious, creamy white head atop this brew. Little lasting power, but left a nice lacing. Huge aromas of pine and hop essences, as well as citrus, not the least of which was grapefruit. Thick and rich in the sinuses. Beautiful. Bitter on the palate, and lovely at that. Big whallop of flavor balance with the malt and hops. Very, very full bodied, indeed. This is one big, and I mean BIG beer...

An incredible find, to be sure. I can only hope that this stuff makes its way up to Pennsylvania sooner rather than later.

Life is good.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy dark brown amber with red tones and a full half finger tan head that melts to a top coating ring of sticky lacing.
Aromas of a big red....with dark candied fruit like figs and sweet sugar.
Thick and creamy mouthfeel from the solid fine carbonation and thick candied malts.
Tastes of sugary dark candied fruit followed quickly with citrus peel hops.
Unnoticed alcohol but aftertaste remains sticky of the dark fruit.
Definately an Imperial Red....well balanced between the sweetness of the malts and bitterness of the hops. Delightful.
Definately NOT a DIPA...if you buy this expecting a DIPA you will be disappointed. If you love big reds like I do, you will savor every sip.
Just a tad too sweet for my taste, however.
Thanks Blitz134 for this trade.

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

Interesting reading the varying opinions on the site about this beer; from huge malt to huge hops. Is it possible that this brew contains both? One thing it does posess is a gorgeous sticky tan head with nice retention power. This jeweled crown sits on top of an equally attractive mahogany body (is this a DIPA or an imperial red as the label claims, anyway?). Nose is malty but balanced and drenched in alcohol, almost reminiscent of port or another fruit wine.

Wow, it does contain both, although the hops generally carry the day. This is a brew with a lot of flavor although the alcohol can be a bit overpowering. Still, the hops are tasty, not overly bitter. I like this beer a lot, although more than a few would be too many by a long shot. Certainly a monster as advertised, and good effort from Terrapin to push the envelope without losing sight of the objective: good beer.

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

12oz single, shipped courtesy of Blackie

appearance: poured into large mouth wine glass...garnet-chestnut body, light beige head with nice bubbly lacing...obviously a dark and rich body for what is classified as a DIPA, but of course the brewer calls it an imperial red

smell: rich and syrupy aromas, molasses, bitter pine/citrus hops apparent in the background but not overpowering in the aroma, sweet and smooth caramel malt

taste: I like this, but im a little baffled on its 91 rating, especially classified as a dipa...flavour is caramel/molasses malt dominated in my opinion, caramel apple, bitter pine hops come through, light boozy nature...pretty good but not much of a dipa by my definition of the style

mouthfeel: smooth and rich, light bitterness

drinkability: good

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Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish-brown with a thin, lasting head.

The smell is of floral citrus with roasted grain and a hint of toffee.

The taste is of citrusy orange peel and grapefruit immediately supported by a thick, rich malt. Sweet brown sugar and caramel cut into the bitterness, but leave the citrus taste in control. Very balanced for the style, while clearly remaining a double IPA. The chewy, citrusy hops remain solidly pronounced, but a good malt backbone gives it a nice body and complex flavors.

It feels creamy, rich and chewy. The body remains steadfast. Thick, yet incredibly smooth. Just the right amount of carbonation to make it glide along the tongue, leaving the body intact and plenty of flavors in the mouth.

Incredibly drinkable, almost too much so, as the undetectable alcohol can creep in. Unfortunately, I only had this one or I would have easily been tempted to grab more. A smooth, delicious drink to say the least.

Thanks to SilentSabre for sending me this enjoyable brew!

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Photo of matdot
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whoa is right with this one. This is a "big" brew in my opinion, hence its name.

Pours a thick creamy head and has a dark brown color with hints of amber. The taste ha, thick hops in here. Think of biting into a big juicy fruit. Terrapin comes out strong with this seasonal. Taste of alcohol is well hidden, but will creap up on you in a hurry.

I have found this most of the year for some reason. I guess they distributed alot of it in the Atlanta area.

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

WHOA!!! They aren’t kdding about the hops. This came from the tap with a reddish brown color with off-white head that lingered long and produced good lacing. Extremely hoppy aroma, and the taste is more of the same: bitter hops, almost to the point that they overwhelm any other real flavor. Palate was dry and bitter, as expected. I am a big fan of hopped up beers, and really enjoyed this, but must admit that this even pushed my upper hop limit. Good job, boys from Athens!!

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Photo of Onibubba
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2006 Monsters of Beer Tour. Had this in a side by side with DFH 90 Minute. A good looking amber DIPA with little to no head. Aroma is knock you out of the park citrusy hops. Nearly overpowering. This is also evident in the taste. There is some malt in there, but not nearly enough to tame this. Nice carbonation. This is a bit harsh going down. Alcohol is evident and the hops burn.

Not a bad beer at all, but a bit of an ass kicker. I'm not sure I'd really want to drink more than one of these a night. If you like a DIPA with a serious hop bite, you may want to take a look at this one.

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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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