Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster | Terrapin Beer Company

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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.

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Ratings: 867 |  Reviews: 592
Photo of GruvisHops
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 12 oz. brown bottle with the turtle I know and love wielding the controls of a smokin'-ass Hot Rod. A clear, deep, dark red liquid rests beneath a glut of off-white foam that leaves nice patches of lace down the glass.

S: The nose is fantastic. Hoppy citrus and pine up front with a truckload of caramel maltiness coming in right behind it.

T: The malt profile exudes caramel with some bready notes intermingled. This beer is loaded with big malty flavors, however, the hops aren't hidden one iota. The balance is perfect. The piney, citrus hop flavors and bitterness come through beautifully. Right now, I can't think of a better balanced beer off the top of my head. Brown sugar lingers on the tongue in the finish.

M: Medium-Full

D: Huge on the malts + huge on the hops = Goes down very quickly? YES! Very smooth and wonderful balance make it possible. This is a hophead's delight.

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

Pours a deep reddish brown, with a one-finger head that settled to a paper thin layer leaving a more prominent ring. Carmel apple smell with big resinous slightly piny simcoe aroma. This is much more balanced than I was expecting from the name, but definitely lots of American hop aroma and flavor, and not lacking in bitterness. Carmel apple taste up front, with toffee and a tiny bit of chocolate near the end, all balanced by some hoppy bitterness that never really takes over. All kinds of hop flavors going on - more on the piney and earthy side, but with some notes of citrus. Doesn't seem like 8 percent at all. Goes down smooth. I could drink plenty of these, no problem. Great job by Terrapin. I plan on buying more of this for sure....on a side note, I really don't think this should be classified as a DIPA.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thank you Brewcrew2010 (Jared & Danielle) for the trade at the Glens Falls Brew Fest)

A- A two finger tan head sits atop a Mahogany/Red brew. Beautiful lacing drips away and never leaves. Sticky, foamy, and thick! This is an Imperial Red?

S- Sweet caramel, toffee, coffee, dark chocolate, figs and roasted/candied pecans. This is a 2009 vintage so the Hops are all but gone.

T- Still a touch of citrus in the taste... but really gets covered up by the sweetness of the roasted barley. WOW!!! I'm really digging the coffee, caramel and roasted nuts!!! I've never had an Imperial Red like this! It's fantastic with age on it... wish I had a fresh one to compare it to.

M- More like a porter or honey brown ale in mouthfeel! Really coats the tongue! A touch of coffee/hoppy bitterness on the tongue, but the sweetness is where it's at with this one! Pair this one with something as simple as coffee cake, or with a decadant 7 layer chocolate cake!

O- This is fantastic!!! I was thinking something completely different before I poured, smelled, and tasted this one! What a nice surprise!

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Photo of JayS2629
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep dark mahogany, murky with one inch thick creamy tan head that leaves beautiful creamy sea foam lacing.

S- Biscuit, caramel malts with grassy whiffs and sugary notes. Deep resiny pine tones with hints of citrus.

T- Deliciously sweet caramel and toffee on the front. Rich honey notes and biscuity middle with a nicely bittered grapefruit, citrus, and pine finish. Very well balanced. With sweet malts in front and a nice hoppy finish you get the best of both worlds. The sweet isn't cloying, it is nice and mellow and while it tries to hang on it slowly fades into a mellow hop finish. Amazing!

M- Mouthfeel is pleasant, but thick and creamy. Take your time.

D- High in ABV, thick and creamy makes it a sipper. Delicious taste makes it one to be careful with. Very enjoyable and easy to drink.

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Photo of Zachb4au
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of B891
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a gorgeous dark brown with two fingers of beige head. Smells of hops and fruit. Dark roasted coffee and chocolate notes as well. Leaves an nice lacing around my glass.

The chocolate/coffee notes envelope the tongue as the pungent hoppiness settles around the mouth. There is definitely sweetness to balance the bitter: a very good blend there. The mouthfeel is quite good. It feels heavy and creamy with the right amount of bitter bite from the hops. A little alcohol is present. A quarter of the way through drinking it a thin layer of head remains, and above that is artful lacing.

There is a strong malty/toffee aftertaste that compliments the beer as it leaves the palate.

This is an excellent beer. It was around $10 for a four pack, but well worth it.

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Photo of mgironta
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of kirbmeist
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of ryrust5301
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a bit of everything and it's all good. Dark mahogany color which almost gives it a strong ale or imperial red look. Thin layer of hop induced head shot up on top. Deep malt with sweet flavors only adds to the rye and hops that are up front. Very well layered beer, as it manages to remain crisp and smooth in the mouthfeel, all the while maintaining a nice medium body. The taste is just what i'd want from a malty red ale. Nice bit of spiciness mixed in with the hops. Flows together perfectly into a sweet sticky caramel malt that coats the tongue. A great beer that is extremely drnkable on a cool fall night.

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Photo of gbohl
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of 0tt0
4.76/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 edition poured into a Duvel glass...

Pours a dark, ruby red, almost like a richer cranberry. The head is a loosely-bubbled cap that slowly diminishes down to nothing, but a quick swirl of the glass and it's right back up again. The nose is very exciting, with rich, bready malt quickly apparent and a tingly hop note of pine and citrus coming through. Amazing... The first taste is beautifully malty (a hint of chocolate?) giving way to a snappy bitter finish. One of the most amazingly balanced big beers I've tasted. Mouthfeel is luscious and tongue clinging. A true accomplishment!

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Photo of Langston
4.79/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd had Terrapin's Rye Pale Ale and liked it. Saw this one and was, at first attracted to the alcohol content. The red color surprised me. Fantastic hoppy bouquet. The taste was an even bigger surprise, though a pleasant one. It filled my mouth... and my heart with joy.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a pint yesterday at the Brick Store Pub. Simply gorgeous in the glass. Very dark reddish brown with a glowing tan brown head. Aromas of molasses/toffee & grassy hops. Syrupy fresh hop nose hit me first, then the super balanced semi-sweet malt. Perhaps cocoa? Great lacing in the glass. Noticeable twinge of alcohol in the cheeks. Like the name implies, monster hoppy finish.

Hard to describe how much I loved this beer yesterday! My favorite version to date. Definitely one to drink, and drink again on draft. Totally different ballgame than it's cousin in the bottle, as most great beers are.

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Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a 12oz Tumbler Glass; Beer Courtesy of a beer mail I received VIA beer swap

Appearance - Extremely Cloudy Dark Brown color with no variation in color throughout the glass. Heads is around 1 finger width with an aggressive pour. The head itself is slightly brown with a filmy look to it that looks very inviting.

Smell - There's a Rum Raisin smell with some caramel, maple & brown sugar, along with some mild floral hops There's a very slight spicy scent to it, which gives the beer a distinct feel. It's a pretty sweet smelling beer.

Taste - The malt is very strong with this one, probably one of the strongest malty backbones I've ever tasting. There are so many flavors going on here at once. There's the very sweet Rum Raisin at the front, followed by the brown sugar and caramel. The floral hops are slightly more prominent in here as well. There's a spicy twang to the flavor, which warms you up almost immediately.

Mouthfeel - It's fairly heavy bodied but the carbonation is well regulated so it adds more to the flavor. It feels fairly creamy but the word "smooth" better describes the overall mouthfeel.

Overall - While it's not the "Big Hoppy Monster" that it claims to be, this is still easily one of the tastiest beers I've ever had! The flavor is rich and complex, the aroma is very inviting and it's relatively easy to drink. Beer conessiours of all backgrounds will find something to like about this.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The 2006 version reviewed on the day of the release. I did not realized how much I missed this. Rich, deep red color, and a decent head give this beer a stately apperance. The smell is mild for a DIPA, but that is not due to a lack of hops in the nose. Instead the caramel malts just seem to smooth things over more than normal. The taste is a little more hoppy than last year, and this seems to make this a more brilliant creation. Love the way this just glides across the tongue. Scary drinkability for a beer so strong. Before I finished my first bottle, I had to get the second one out of the fridge and warming a bit. I am not sure I will be drinking anything else for a while. For those of you that were able to cellar this, you have more restraint than I. Once this monster is in the house, I seem to be drawn to it.

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Photo of KevinBrewer
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy brownish red with a big creamy tan head that lasts, leaving spidery lacing.

N- Smells like a bourbon-barrel-aged beer. Big vanilla aroma meshes with a mouth-watering oaky booziness. A touch of dark herbal hops and bready malt in there as well. And way in the back, there is the faintest whisper of roasted grain husk.

T- Big sweet toasted caramel malt with an nice oaky booziness to it. Just a hint of roasted grain in the background. Surprisingly smooth. Not much in the way of bitterness, just enough to balance the huge malt base. The hops really play a supporting roll, with dark herbal tones adding complexity to oak. Finish is fairly long, pleasantly boozy and oaky with a soft clean bitterness. A touch of grain husk in the aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied, very creamy, silky mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation with a bittersweet finish.

D- Overall, a fantastic brew. Really polished and elegant. The hops are definitely a highlight, but the emphasis in the name should be on 'monster.' Although, this is vintage 2010, so I'm curious to see what it would taste like fresh.

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Photo of Emerson1310
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

These just showed up at TW here in Springfield. Terrapin is rapidly becoming a favorite brewery of mine!

A: coppery-red in glass, clear, not foggy, 4-finger golden brown head and when glass is tilted the lacing is solid. Very active carbonation.

S: Caramel malts, some grapefruit, pine and resin-hops.

T: Delicious!! Little to no bitterness, but very smooth throughout!! Definite strong hop-flavor, combined with some citrus, resin, tannins and tobacco. Finish is super smooth, and no hop build-up or bitterness build-up.

M: Fairly creamy-thick and pleasant.

O: I bought five 4-packs of this stuff after tasting it, and as with all their other brews, this will be a repeat offender!! Another great beer from the turtle!!

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Photo of DeaconBluez
4.84/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I heard so much about this brew through the fellows at free the hops, i had to check this one out. glad i did...

it pours a very brownish-amber. the head on this was very, very thin.

the smell: pine, hops, and some cintrus (orange and tangerine and grapefruit)...and more hops and pine. i could sit here and smell this brew for a while.

taste- the hops slams you pretty good on this one. alcohol is pretty evident on this, which may turn some away, but doesn't really bother me. the pine and oranges and grapefruit come back for appearance on the taste as well.

mouthfeel: i love love the way this is kind of oily and creamy in the mouth. it coats the mouth, leaving you tasting the hops on this for awhile after you sip this.

drinkability: i could drink this beer all night. this is by far one of the best double ipas i have had in long time. i am glad atlanta's so close to birmingham because i will be making several trips over to have this one frequently. a definite must have for ipa/hop lovers.

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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 UnionMade
4.92/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thank to UncleFlip for the bottle. An unexpected treat!
Pours a hazy mahogany, nearly opaque, topped with a modest almond colored head. Good head retention, lace clinging to the glass in large blobs. Surprising aroma. Very deep, earthy hoppiness, glinting with citrus and pine. Fudge drizzled with caramel, and a bit of apple crisp. I've never had a combination similar to this that really worked well, but this feels seamless, all the scents mingling together effortlessly. The flavor follows suit, the first sip instantly taking hold of the tastebuds, finally letting go long, long after the glass is drained. A slick, almost oily body coats the tongue with cake frosting sugariness. Chocolatey, but mostly caramel, a vague, undefined roasty character. Earthy, orange citrus hop juice gushing everywhere. Apple pie, or probably more accurately apple crisp fruitness. Hints of peach and something like...russian dressing? Sounds wierd, but that's what I'm getting. Good thing I'm a fan. Kinda meaty, too. Incredibly complex for such a hop driven beer. The finish retains some sweetness, moving into a more toffee like character than up front, blistering with hops, hops and more hops. Bitterness is high, but within reason, juicy as hell with a spicy, citric, piney, woody feel. Pretty much runs the gamut of hop flavors. Finishes with a lick of booze, the hop flavor coating the tongue long after the beer is finished. Reserved carbonation forges through the heavy body adequately, without being too nervous about the job. It keeps a very smooth, surprisingly soft and drinkable feel, while packing in the maximum amount of flavor in 12 ounces of big hoppy joy. Goddam this is great shit.
I'd heard this was good from a variety of folks, but it's really a stunning beer. I'd say one of the best, richest brews I've had in a long, long time, certainly of this style. Apparently R.E.M. isn't the only treasure to come out of Athens, GA. Completely boss. The tops. I can't speak highly enough.

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Photo of MargaritavilleOH
4.95/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hands down my favorite beer.

Excellent balance. Not over-hopped, but still bitter. Perfect complement to malt, especially when fresh. The malt is sweeter than I expected, but it really pairs well with the citrusy, bitter hops. The sweetness really comes out if you have a will strong enough to let it age (I prefer the balance provided by the fresh hop character). Beautiful golden amber color and excellent head retension, providing potent citrusy aroma through the entire pint. Head and aroma are perfectly accenuated by a goblet or tulip glass.

Bold in flavor, aroma and alcohol content. Definitely not a session beer. Perfect with pork or beef. Or possibly spicy chicken.

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Photo of virinow
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of Beerontwowheels
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of jmhart
5/5  rDev +23.5%

Photo of xxcarpxx
5/5  rDev +23.5%

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