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 CWiggins
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Recently tasted on tap at Tyler's Taproom in Durham, NC. This dark brown beer exhibited a white, one-finger head, and smelled a bit citrusy with a whole lot of hop background. The flavor was intensly malty, with a nutty, hoppy aftertaste that lingered just long enough. It had a smooth texture with medium carbonation, and I particularly like the biscuity finish.

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Photo of oregonskibum
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Vintage 2009AA

A: Color is a very dark amber bordering on dull brown. Poured with a fairly thick two-inch, light tan head. Head died of quickly, but left some thick rings on the glass.

S: Big caramel malts dominate the smell. Sweet, bready with some earthy notes. There's almost no sign of hops left.

T: The malts continue in the taste where they left off on the nose. Quite sweet with lots of caramel and toffee. Some bready/biscuity malt in mid taste. Finish is a little bitter, but not overwhelmingly so. Definitely getting some warmth from the alcohol on the finish.

M: Medium body with a touch of stickiness. Carbonation is medium with a dry finish.

D: This has potential, but didn't age well. It's got some signs of a barley wine, but didn't quite make it. Without the hops, it just seems to be a little bit of a mess. I would like to try it fresh.

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Photo of JDV
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2007 bottle thanks to miketd!
Dark maroon pour, quickly dissipating beige head. Smell is of some spicy, richness, some fudge like creaminess, a hint of alcohol and banana fruitiness. Taste is much less hoppy than expected. Much milder, but still richly flavored. Some cinnamon like spiciness, caramel malt, but very easy drinking, and somehow I pick up literally almost no hoppiness except for a touch in the finish. Not at all what I was expecting, but not bad. Very unique for the style if within the style at all, but nevertheless a nice beer and very drinkable.

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Photo of athensbeermaster
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First of all this beer is classified wrong on this site. Hoppy monster is a red Imperial ale. say's so on the 4 pk in big letters! The other wrong about this year's version is where's the hops? They should of called it the malty monster. Last year was great big hoppy fun.
This year the color was much darker the carbonation was less and the maltiness over shadows the hops. Besides all the pitfalls this beer still has a great flavor and nice smoky finish. I tried my first sample out of the btl. Then I tried it on tap to see if any more hops might jump out. on draft it had a little more head than the btl. but the malts still dominated the mix. I guess I was so disapointed because last year was so good. After talking to some other freinds they felt the same about the change in this years version. To spike hope next year's will be more hoppy.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
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 TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

If I didn't know any better, I'd say VDubb, through these directive, is tryin' to booze me up. Hm. Oh well. This one pours a swampy garnet-tinged brown topped by a half-finger or so of ecru foam. The nose comprises buttery biscuits, cinnamon, some light flowers, and a hint of salad greens. The taste has all of the above going on, along with a fairly strong infusion of citrus hops. The body is a very light medium, with a light carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a pretty good brew, but nothing all that special. Pretty tasty, though.

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Photo of superspak
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip, 2011 vintage, but no bottle date. Pours hazy red orange color with a fairly dense 1 finger light tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap. A bit of nice lacing sticks to the glass as well. Aromas of big orange, grapefruit, caramel, and tropical fruit; with a bit of pine, spices, and alcohol. Fairly sweet aromas here with good strength. Taste of big orange, grapefruit, caramel, pine, toasted malt, and spiciness. Nice amount of bitterness present on the finish, with lingering notes of caramel, pine, citrus, and a bit of spice. Pretty large amount of sweetness in comparison to bitterness. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied, with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden, with only a warming on the finish noticed. Decent drinkability for the level of alcohol, but it was still somewhat of a sipper. Overall a decent imperial red ale, but maybe it is better when it is fresh. This may have bit a bit too old.

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Photo of bigpatvoodoodad
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this beer. It has an awesome label. The smell was pretty good. The taste was even better. It was unique. I don't think I've tasted a beer that is anything like this. The mouthfeel wasn't bad and was actually better than what I had expected as this is a high ABV beer. This was a very drinkable beer in my opinion. If you can stand the high alcohol content, it is a good beer to have while sitting around shooting the breeze with friends. Not as over-the-top as the other high ABV beer I tried. Subtle and distinct...plus it's brewed less than 100 miles away in Athens, GA, which is one of the coolest places to be in the south.

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Photo of thetomG
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark and murky amber. Aroma is VERY malty with some caramel notes. Flavor is again SUPER malty, but has some hoppiness in the finish but in my opinion its not even attempting to be balanced. The malt flavors easily wins out (maybe I just got an older bottle?). Mouthfeel is a bit thick and too syrupy for my taste.

All in all, I'm glad I tried this, but it is not something I would seek out again. Too much of a malt bomb for my taste...

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from the 2011 Vintage. Poured into a Deschutes tulip.

A: Pours a very deep dark amber reddish color. Half finger off white head. Fades pretty quickly to a ring around the outside of the glass. Looks like good carbonation. Some alcohol feet are present at that 8%+ level.

S: Smells of bready malts and earthy hops. It's an imperial so not ready to call it old, but smells rather bready. I wish the hops were a little more pronounced.

T: Bready malty mess at this point. Mind you, I am drinking this after a Sculpin, Furious, and Aorta Ale. This just doesn't measure up on the hop scale for me. It's very malt loaded, to the point where that is almost all that I get. There is some hop bitterness at the close of the brew, so you know it's an IPA or imperial.

M: Medium bodied.

M: Medium

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Photo of Nachojon
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Great looking beer. Hazy deep wood amber, red. Really thin layer of head that dissipates quite quickly.

S- Some hops, and some nice sweet notes, like a raspberry with a little tart.

T- WOAH. I'd say Big Malty Monster to start. Like big brown figs, raisin and even some chocolate. There are some hops in the finish, it's balance is on the malt side, however.

M- Thick. It's not hot, but not overly drinkable in my opinion. Some residue left on tongue.

O- Good, but not my favorite. I would love to try some more beer from Terrapin.

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Photo of cbros
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 2007 poured into a mug. Pours a deep red almost merlot color. No visible head or lace present after pour. Taste of malt is huge in this beer, good beer with a nice balance. Not something that I would buy again but I am pleasantly suprised by this beer. I am suprised that this is the 2007 and it still has a good taste.

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Photo of nandemo1
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy amber with a small off white head that disappeared quickly. Left a lot of sticky lacing.

Smell is of sweet roasted malts with some orange notes. Taste is very similar to a 90 minute that's been sitting around awhile. Big maltiness with far less bitterness than I expected. Lots of caramel and breadiness.

Mouthfeel is fairly smooth yet sticky.

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Photo of keanex
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle stating vintage 2011. Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A: Murky red with sediment in the body. Thin tan head which quickly disappears.

S: Warm and inviting, caramel and toffee notes slight dark fruits in this as well. Very sweet.

T: Caramel and toffee are huge through this, without much hop presence which surprised me considering the name. Sweet and malty, and very warming.

M: Medium to thick bodied with fizzy carbonation coating my tongue.

O: I was expecting something completely different given the name. This is still a good beer, though I feel it will mellow with time and age decently.

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Photo of mugglesandhops
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this as an extra in a trade. Pours a deep red color with a decent off white head that faded fairly fast. Smells malty with some sweet fruits in there also. Taste very malty with a some piney hops present. Mouthfeel was fairly thick almost chewy. Slight alcohol presence also.

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Photo of phishgator
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
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 FrognutUnl
3.57/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Rust to burgundy in color. Fairly clear considering the dark color. Single finger or so head that dissipates at average rate of speed, no more lacing than one might expect from the style.

S - The nose is much like a super hopped barley wine. Figs and a nice citrusy/resiny smell with some estery notes from the alcohol.

T - Resin, pine, and grapefruit pith from the hops comes out and grabs you like a bum trying to steal your wallet followed dry dark fruits and molasses who then steal the wallet from the bum. Moral of the story is that the malt ran away with the money on this one once the glass gets to near room temperature. The alcohol is a bit more present than I would expect from such a hop bomb weighing in at only 8.3%, but is still quite pleasant.

M - Medium in body.

D - I find this to be fairly enjoyable. The flavors are very intense which doesn't make it something I can just slam at one go, but that is the reason we seek out beers such as these.

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Photo of mjl21
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dan for throwing this in as an extra. 12 ounce bottle poured into the new SA glass. This is the 2007 version. Listed as VINTAGE 07FX. Comes in at 8.3%.

A-Pours a hazy brown with a lot of red when held to the light. Has a half finger tan head that dissolves quickly into a small ring surrounding a minimal amount of film. There are visible bubbles rising from the bottom.

S-Lots of sweet malt and some mild citrus hop flavor. The sweet malt is not unexpected as this is a 2007 vintage of a beer hyped as being a hop monster.

T-Sweet caramel malt is present throughout each sip. The citrusy hops are apparent, but have definitely faded due to some age. After it has gone down, I pick up on some alochol, roast malt and chocolate flavors. In between sips there is an aftertaste that is reminiscent of red grapes.

M-Medium bodied with a soft and comfortable level of carbonation. The bitterness is kept at a minimum.

D-For an older hoppy beer it wasn't very bad. Drank more like a barleywine.

This is my first beer from these guys. Like any hoppy beer that has some age on it, this one lacked some bite. I would love to try it fresh to see what it tastes like. This wouldn't be bad as a barleywine-like nightcap.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into my Orval glass.

The beer pours a very dark amber almost brown, but red in the light. The head is about one finger of light tan head that has good retention and great lacing.

The aroma is on the lighter side and plain. It shows off some very light hops with a little grapefruit.

The taste is very similar to an ipa, starts off a little sweet and some nice hops. The finish kinda kills it for me, its got an almost rye hop finish which I don't really like. A little pine as well.

The feel is medium bodied, a slight dry finish.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.59/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass. An extra courtesy of ericwo. Thanks Eric!

A: Pours a cloudy mahogany color with ruby highlights. Has a quarter-inch of off-white head that recedes quickly into a light film and the collar of death. No lacing down the glass save for some temporary washes when I drink.

S: This is named like a hop bomb, categorized as an Imperial Red, but smells like a barleywine. What the hell!? Lots of caramel malt, with citrus and pine hop notes, and a slight alcohol sting.

T: Malt is strong on this one, in caramel, toffee, and biscuit tones. They lay the foundation for a comparably strong hop presence, mainly in grapefruit flavor but with a very slight pine and floral component. There is a molasses character in there too. A slight boozy warmth on the finish.

M: Medium to full-bodied, with a slightly chewy presence. Low carbonation that brings out the flavor pretty well. Alcohol is noted but is not too off-putting.

D: This is a good barleywine. I'd like to try it fresh; maybe then it tastes more like a "hoppy monster." I definitely didn't get that with this one.

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Photo of rarbring
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is dark ruby red, the head beige, rather small, leaving some lacing.

The smell is an interesting combination of forest fruits, citric aromas and pine, nuts and some cheese character as well.

The taste has a solid malt character, dark bread, but also red fruits, raspberry, then a nutty sherry flavor, and a noticeable alcohol.

Medium carbonation, initially somewhat fizzy, a hint of oil.

This beer was drank as the finish after a dinner with a couple of typical american IPAs, and worked very well rounding it all off.

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Photo of boudreaux
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Best If Enjoyed By: VINTAGE 10AA

A: Drank straight from bottle

S: maybe it's because I drank it straight from the bottle, but fairly weak aroma overall; from what I did smell, chocolate, wheat, and a touch of citrusy fruit

T: sweet up front, with a touch of bitterness; can be divided into two distinct flavors; at first, sweet and fruity, with peaches and pineapple flavors up front; the flavor follows up with a bitter, hoppy taste, with a touch of the malty wheat and bitterness from the hop

M; very mouthy; not light, but more full-bodied; a touch of fizziness; very hoppy and bitter; almost makes you pucker; similar to the Terrapin Rye and Hopsecutioner styles from their Imperial/"big beer" series

D: fairly drinkable, especially if pairing it with fries or some type of strong food; however, since this tasting is by itself, a little strong for a session; still, a solid brew on the drinkability scale

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Prufrock for the gift.

Served at 40F from 12 oz amber bottle into shaker pint.

Pour was delicious, thick body and rich mahogany brown color. Terrific swirls of downward bubbles, like the famous stout. Nice inch high head slowly dissipating to persistent thin layer of bubbles.

Aroma is sweet and chocolately, with a hint of floral hops. Very much like a bock.

Flavor is thick and complex, with dark fruity notes, notable sweetness and moderate bitterness. Quite balanced, could use greater bitterness and hop aroma from a hophead point of view.

Mouthfeel is syrupy and tingly.

Overall a really good beer that will age well.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours dark brown with dense head and good lacing.

S-Surprised by the smell. This beer wreaks of dark chocolate and toffee. Hop aroma is muted by the big malts and a prominent alcohol aroma.

T-Definately not a big hoppy monster but still tastes nice. Big caramel malt combined with dark fruits. Booze is quite noticeable. Much maltier than expected. Subtle hops round out the taste.

M-Medium bodied. Creamy and slick.

D-A boozy drink. Happy with just one of these.

Not what I was expecting but it is a unique taste.

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Photo of AndoBrew
3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

*like it might buy*

App:great dark rich garnet copper with a yummy firm head

Smell:lil mild but good balance. Nice brown malt caramel and spiced hop.

Taste: lil bit of a let down in the malt mill. Hops are a bit one way.

Mf:thin I don't like it.

Drinkable?: yeah but bland

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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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