Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster | Terrapin Beer Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Terrapin Big Hoppy MonsterTerrapin Big Hoppy Monster
867 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 867 |  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.

 503 characters

Photo of bookem
3.17/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried at Wisteria Tavern. Served in a standard pint glass.

The tavern was limited in their selection of hoppy tap beers because they were in transition with adding more taps and had just blown their last keg of Bell's Two Hearted Ale. I asked the helpful server for a hoppy bottled beer. He recommended a bottle of BHM.

A - I requested that the beer be served in a room temperature glass. The server poured the contents with his back to me and presented the beer with little to no head. The beer had a thick dark brown, murky, unfiltered look to it. Minimal lacing down the glass.
S - Although the hops are evident in the nose what really stands out is the malty molasses.
T- Similar to the smell, very malty, sweet with fig and prume overtones.
M- Thick, substantial, smooth for such a high ABV beer.
D- I could drink this again but would be inclined not to simply because its not my preferred style. The name can be misleading although the bottom of the label reads imperial red ale. In all fairness had I poured the beer or had it been fresher it might have opened up more and the experience may have been somewhat different. I would recommend this for someone who prefers a maltier, sweeter style.

 1,203 characters

Photo of wedgie9
3.2/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted from twelve ounce bottle. Pours dark amber, almost brown, with a red tinted off-white head that is thin, but the lace lasts. The aroma is a biscuity malt with alcohol heat and hops as an afterthought. There is also somewhat of a cherry pie sweetness. The same pie crust flavor comes through on the front palate with sweetness and fruitiness on the middle. The back of the palate is where the hops kick in with a bitter finish. On the palate, this beer is average with a medium full body. The finish is medium with hops bitterness. I think that many would say that this beer is over the hill, in bottle for too long, with the hops really faded and taking a back seat. I enjoy the beer, but it is missing that hops kick that I expected given the name.

 756 characters

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.

 337 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a ruby red color with a big bubbly foamy white head and tons of lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malt and biscuit. Not much when it comes to hops. Sweet malts is what this one is all about.

T - Tons of gooey sweet melted caramel, toasted pine nuts, butter and biscuity malt. There are no hops to speak of at all in this brew. Sweet, Sweet, and more sweetness here.

M - Medium body and with an insane amount of malt.

D - One of the maltiest beers I have ever had, no trace of hops.

Overall: I love Terrapin fist and foremost. This one has a little age as it's now pushing one year old. The malt punch in this one is out of sight. If you are a lover of malt this is the one for you. That being said I am not. I appreciate it for what it is but give me a RyePA any day.

 774 characters

Photo of Travcofarms
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of jimpyle48
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of sweemzander
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic. Thanks to beerwolf77 for this one!

(A)- Pours a dark and cloudy mahogany color that produced a light tan head. Bits of lacing here and there.

(S)- A damp woody pine up front. Bits of lemon with a caramel-like sweetness.

(T)- Same as the smell only with bits of a fig and prune-like background as well.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Rather malty with an aged hop feel to it. Rather thick and almost chewy too.

(D)- I can see how the name would fit this if it were fresher, but now it is more of a malt monster; still a unique and new take on the style.

 606 characters

Photo of abuono
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of dfhhead25
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.26/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received from NCSUdo in Week2 Powerball. Thank you!

Pours a very dark copper color with deep ruby accents when held to the light. A very thin layer of off-white head leaves spotty lacing on the walls of my pint glass. The is extremely malt dominated with heavy scents of dark fruits (figs, plums, and raisins) with only a slight pine scent rushing to the nose. It is not as hop dominated as I thought, but I am assuming the age on this beer is contributing to that. I taste the hops more upfront, but is still rather subtle. The hop profile is a combination of pine and light citrus fruit that is almost earthy with a mineral water quality to it. The malt however steps up the plate and takes over where the hop profile falls flat. The malt tastes of caramelized soaked doughy uncooked bread and sweet toffee. The malt profile is very tasty, but doesn't have much zing without the hops. The mouthfeel is creamy with low carbonation. I certainly would drink this beer again, but it would have to available locally.

 1,015 characters

Photo of BeerMark
3.26/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark copper in color, this one is a lovely shade. Smell is of malts, hops, and unfortunately... alcohol. Taste is exactly the same as the aroma. It's malty sweet with hops but there's this alcohol sensation that I'm not liking here. After reading some other reviews I find that this sensation is a "medicinal" flavor in this beer. I must agree with these reviewers. So much potential for a great beer lost due to some off flavors. I really love American Ambers but I guess I don't love the Imperial versions. I'll try other Imperial Ambers but probably won't seek this one out again.

 583 characters

Photo of Jmikepow
3.27/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Florida9
3.27/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Murky, faintly transparent, deep brown in color. Barely forms a head on an aggressive pour. What does form is yellowish tan in color and hugs the edges of the glass.

S: Lots of earthy hops and caramel malt with some brighter citrus notes and alcoholic heat.

T: Heavy on both the hops and malt. Heavy caramel malt, some roasted malt, toffee with a strong dose of earthy, dank, bitter hops. Alcohol is prevalent on the finish. Kind of just tastes "muddy."

M: On the heavier side with an astringent bitterness.

O: Really too much of everything keeps this beer from being balanced in anything. Thick malts, earthy hops, dirty tasting and rather boozy for just 8.3% ABV.

 675 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear maroon with a modest tan head. Leaves plenty of lacing with substantial retention.

Malt is the overriding aroma, with a huge dose of burnt brown sugar and a hint of booze. There are some subdued hop notes that manifest as herbal tinges.

Taste isn't really true to this beer's name. Malt is clearly the dominant flavor, with hops playing a minor role. The burnt character comes out in the flavor as well as the aroma. The hops come out in the finish as a bitter, tannic, tea-like note.

This beer is way overcarbonated, and not hoppy enough. Alcohol comes out with warmth and makes this the second (of two) Terrapin beers that I find overrated.

 667 characters

Photo of Murchmac
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to ncvbc for this brew.

Looks Great, Dark reds, deep, foam which disappears.

Immediately smells of caramel and toasted breads! Love it already, from two feet away.

Tastes bready, spicy, malty, not much hops left now. Its a 2007 vintatge though. It must have been a a great beer in its day. Now it kinda tastes like a malty, alcohol mess.

Bitter aftertaste, If this were a barleywine it would pass though.

The 2007 version of this beer is like Meg Ryan, pretty in it's prime, scary looking now.

 506 characters

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.31/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap a while ago at Paradiso in Old Town Alexandria, VA.

A: Reddish brown with almost no head and almost no lacing to speak of. Opaque nice look though.

Barley any smell. Some sugary malt comes through, some wheat, my brain might be implying hops but i have to struggle. Some taffy coated hop esters.

The taste is better but still not amazing. Much more sugary wheaty malt than hops, with a definite alcohol sweetness. Some bitter ending hop presence, but man I think it should have more as an Imperial.

Mouth is average and drinkability is good.

 562 characters

Photo of JesteR14
3.31/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Very dark amber, cloudy so that you cant see through it. Not black, but a very dark camel color. Very nice and great to see. Nice redness in this beer that leaves it a great appearance!

S- I get a lot of toasted malts when i smell this. Mild hopness for this hoppy monster. Should be big malty monster!!

T- Woah. This one has a very different flavor than what im used to. Lots of malts and a light hop bitterness. This surprises me... Over the top malts....

M- Smooth brew, and not that strong of a flavor, despite the strong alcohol level. I would still sip on tis one..

D- Not my favorite from terrapin. Its got a good, smooth imperial red ale taste, but just not my thing!

Not the most hoppy beer, which is a surprise to me. Its boozy and malty, but still a well done sipping beer.

 792 characters

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.32/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a murky brown with a decent beige colored head.Flat and very heavy looking.

Smell is mostly caramel malts with a kind of spicey mixture. Not getting much out of this beer at all.

Taste of a burnt malt and soggy bread. Good hop bitterness but a heavy alcohol flavor.

Mouth is full bodied with a decent carbonation tingle on the tongue. A little heavy and warm in the mouth though.

A decent Red ale but nothing special.

 454 characters

Photo of Gorgoroth
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a trade with Mike3865. Thanks! Shared with BA mermatinger. From notes taken on 01/14/11.

Presentation: Typical brown 12oz bottle with kind of goofy, cartoonish artwork. I gathered from the label that this beer is contract-brewed for Terrapin, which I found surprising. I was also unable to figure out a date for this beer because the "best by" field was blank.

Appearance: Poured into my oversize 24oz snifter, this beer is ruby brown, with a frothy, rocky, one fingerwidth cappuccino-colored head which dissipates quickly to a soap, spotty layer over the whole surface. There is little visible carbonation and mild, spotty lacing.

Smell: Well, without needing a "best by" date I can tell this is not fresh. The smell is malty, bready and raisiny but there are no hops. So far, nothing big or hoppy about this beer.

Taste: There is a pervasive celery-like flavor, much like a past-date pilsner. Mostly it is caramely and raisiny with a very slight hoppy flavor on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium body with sparkly carbonation on the tongue. Not much else to say about mouthfeel, unfortunately.

Drinkability & Final Thoughts: Okay, I have no doubt that this beer is really good when it's fresh. I'm reviewing the only bottle of this that I got and I can't imagine that it is fresh. It's not tainted or infected, just past its prime, and that's a shame. As such, it is not a very good beer. I sort of felt bad reviewing it, but if there is one past-due bottle out there, there are probably more and thus a review of one seems appropriate. I guess the lesson here is to try this beer fresh, which I would still like to do some day. It was not a repulsive tasting experience, but it was a bit of a let down, especially seeing how highly many others have rated this beer.

 1,803 characters

Photo of wsantas
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber. Slightly translucent.

S: Hops, Citrus, Maple, Hints of coffee, sweet

T: Hops, Alcohol, Oak, Bitter, Butterscotch

M: Creamy, heavy, slight burn

O: Big Bold flavors. Alcohol taste and biterness leave a long ending. Didn't love.

I would most likely liked this beer more after a little aging.

 309 characters

Photo of flexabull
3.34/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2006 bottle.

Beer pours a rather cloudy brownish amber color with a small head.

Aromas are of caramel, grape nuts, and a bit of booze.

Flavors seem flat and slightly muted to me. Maybe this beer is past it's prime? Don't know... There is a crisp and a very subtle hop flavor up front, flavors then settle in and this eventually finishes with a non sweet thick caramel like quality, it's a touch tart as well. Not really noticing much in the way of hops, on this "Big Hoppy Monster". It seems like it's all malts, and there is a definite balance problem here. It's not a bad tasting beer, but it fails if the brewer was looking for a hoppy tasting beer.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, it has a nice full body, and a good finish.

Drinkability is ok. Either this just isn't for me, or maybe it's just gotten a bit dated.

Thanks for sending this beer my way mikesgroove. (courtesy of the B'day 07 BIF)

 912 characters

Photo of corby112
3.34/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark ruby red/copper almost brown color with golden ruby edges and a two finger frothy yellowish-beige head that has excellent retention, only very slowly fading into a thin cap and lasting ring that coats the glass with lacing on it's way down.

Nice citrus hop aroma with a large pine presence and a very prominent caramel malt and rye. This rye and caramel malt unfortunately take away from the hops but they're still there.

Earthy bitter and dry hops up front that are immediately countered by the sweet malt and rye backbone. Slightly smokey with a bit of roasty chocolate and caramel as well as some nice alcohol warmth. The bitterness does linger over the thick medium body into a very dry finish but this beer is a bit too malty for it's own good. It tastes more like a hoppy old ale or barleywine. Very dry piny finish is nice though.

 857 characters

Photo of Adamdc
3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up 4-pack at Total Wine in Naples, FL. Must preface that this beer was bottled in Aug. '09 so I'm drinking it about 6 months old.

Pour yielded a thin tan head that diminshed quickly and left good lacing throughout. Deep brown color.

Aroma was minimal hops and maximum malt and toffee. Amazed at how much caramel is in the aroma. Also some dark fruit and tobacco. Not much citrus hop aroma to speak of.

Taste follows aroma very well. Some hop bitterness in the middle but overall a very 'malt-forward' beer. Lots of toffee and caramel. Reminds me a lot of a scotch ale. Not what I expected at all.

Mouthfeel is this beer's strong suit. Very thick and creamy.

Drinkability is pretty high due to the mouthfeel and there's not much alcohol bite to speak of.

Overall not a bad beer by any means. When I read 'Imperial Amber Ale' and 'Hoppy Monster' I'm expecting something along the lines of Nugget Nectar or Hop Head Red not Founders Dirty Bastard. Maybe it's just a matter of different expectations. Had this been billed as a hoppy scotch ale I may have rated it higher. Maybe when had fresher this is a different beer also. I'll try to land a fresh bottle next year.

 1,178 characters

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.36/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz into White Birch tulip. Awesome!

A- A burnt marshmallow head on a rusty brown body. Nice head, settles slowly and has moderate lacing.Scratch that... great lacing as the pint goes down. Like rings on an oak tree.

S- Hops! Overload from piny/citrus hops and a big bucket o' caramel malt to bring up the rear.

T_ Caramel base comes through stronger than the hops. Still ctric/lemony.. but the malt base is the main event. For a hoppy red, I can't knock it.

M- good carbonation.. borderline overbearing caramel malt.. for a red it'd not a sin.. but more than I'd like.

D- More caramel malt and less hops.. perhaps I came into this with the wrong mindset but it didn't live up to the name. I won't seek this out.

 721 characters

Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 867 ratings