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.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 866 |  Reviews: 592
Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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

snagged this in NJ earlier today.

a - opened the bottle and filled my E snifter. poured a nice rich reddish orange with a generous almost yellow white head. head hung out a while and was fairly chunky.

s - hops mixed with brown sugar. has an almost brown ale smell to it.

t - much like the nose, brown sugar but not too hoppy. in fact leads with the malt.

m - thick and creamy. kind of dopplebock like. smooth and easy to drink. no real bite.

o - overall very solid beer, but not so much a big hoppy monster, more of a big malty monster. imperial red is exactly what you get with this one.

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

Big thanks to my main man kkipple for hooking me up with a couple of these at DLD.

Pours a dark red, verging on brown, thin tan head forms, settles to a decent layer, drops some nice lacing on the glass, looks good. Smell is sweet bready malt, toffee, very fruity, nice floral hopping, sherry-like alcohol, quite nice. Taste is similar, rich, caramel, very bready, some light fruits, floral, orange/lemon citrus in the finish, alcohol, nicely balanced but a solid bitterness is there. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, some warmth, quite nice. Thanks Dan!

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Taken from notes on 3.24.11

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a deep reddish-brown with a thick, bubbly medium tan head.

S - Malts, and sugars.

T - Sweet malts, slightly hoppy, with a coffee finish.

D - Pretty sweet, no booze flavor or burn.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
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 claspada
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aromas are pretty darn good. A juicy blend of citrus hops accompanied by a nice floral presence. There's a solid malt backbone as well; notes of rather sweet caramel and some subtle hints of biscuit.

The tastes remind me a lot of the Rye Squared but a tad more malty and less bitter. Floral & citrus juiciness throughout. Malts are fairly prominent but aren't he main focus by a long shot. Caramels mostly, with some hints of biscuit/breadiness.

A little bit more than medium bodied; it has a penchant for sticky resin (a great deal of grittiness, also). Alcohol is appreciable, but not cloying; more a general warming sensation that anything. Caramel & a modest bitterness linger.

Mouthfeel is fairly syrupy, but expected because of the ABV. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer but don't need to have it again. Probably the best "heavy" red ale I have had. Terrapin really knows what they are doing and understands what it takes to make good balanced beers and this is no exception.

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

12oz bottle received as an extra from Ding (thanks!). I poured this monster into a pint glass. The smell was hoppy. The color was dark, dark, red-brown with a substantial, pillowy cream head. The taste was really good with the malts showing up more than the hops. I thought this had almost a barleywine characteristic to it. Very good brew.

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Photo of iRun2Beer
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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 zekeman17
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of AgentMunky
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an BrewDog cervoise glass. I am surprised I've not reviewed this before. Unfortunately, this bottle is a little more than a year old. Vintage 2011.

A: Pours very dark, with little to no head. In direct light, it's only lightly translucent, being a pretty solid ruddy brown. Some effervescence, but almost no lacing.

S: Malty-bitter-sweet. Brown sugar and citrusy hops.

T: Very good! Age has hardly diminished the appeal of this imperial amber. It has all the round, fruity maltiness, but with a wicked bitter twist of abundant hops. The aftertaste is smooth and wet, but the hops and the ABV impart a modicum of dryness.

M: Light carbonation, thin body, sticky finish.

O: A good, high-powered beer and excellent amber. Powerful but well-balanced. Recommended; would enjoy again.

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Photo of mynie
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hugely pretty dark, candy red. Like a beautiful woman's fake hair. Just--I've never seen a beer that was this goddamn red. It's really a sight.

Smells of like ten different hops all at once, all very strong. Funk hops, citrus hops, lemony hops, and very light gooey pine hops. Nice.

Tastes of very strong, varied hops, middle of the road strong, syrupy malt, and an unfortunately off aftertaste that's a little bit like a wet animal. This happens sometimes with very hoppy beers, and it's a damn shame.

Good but imperfect.

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Photo of glid02
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Original Review 10/2008 - Got an especially fresh 4-pack of this while I was up in Athens from Five Points.

Pours a completely clear, dark ruby color with a one-finger tan head. The head sticks around for a while before dissipating into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. Not much lacing, but I'm very impressed by the color.

Smells good. Big floral hop aroma up front that's joined by mild citrus and sweet malt smells. As the beer warms the sweet malt gets more robust, and near the end of the beer there's a faint smell of alcohol.

Tastes good. Big sweet malt taste followed shortly by a piney flavor and ending in a solid amount of bitterness. The sweet malt gains steam as the beer warms, but the bitterness is constant. There's just the mildest hint of the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very good thickness, and the carbonation is just intense enough. It goes down very smoothly.

Drinkability is great. I could easily drink a ton of these - it goes down so easily.

Overall this beer lives up to the name, but it's not too over the top. I'm looking forward to partaking in one of the supposed Oak Aged kegs of this. However, oak aged or not, this one is definitely worth your time and money.

EDIT: Four-pack from Green's on Ponce - This year's smells and tastes as though there are even more hops than previously, bumping both up a notch. Great job by Terrapin.

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3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

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 Pencible
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a clear, dark copper with tan head. It smelled like caramel malt and copper hops, with bready yeast and a bit of prune. It tasted like earthy copper hops and roasted barley, with some caramel and yeast and a bit of floral hops. It was oily and somewhat thick, with a bit of carbonation and a bittersweet aftertaste. Overall this wasn't the hoppy monster I was expecting, but it did have a nice malty taste for an amber ale. The flavor wasn't terribly clean, although that might improve with some age? Of course, that would fade the hops that the brewers probably intended to showcase. Very confusing. Either way, it had nice body and hid the alcohol very well, so it was surprisingly easy to drink. This doesn't hold a candle to Nugget Nectar, but it's still an enjoyable beer in its own right.

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Photo of Gatordaddy
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of cpetrone84
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A-Couldy and very dark amber color
S-very faint with hints of sweet malt and some citrus
T-sweet caramel malt up front, citrus hops with hints of piney resign and a very smooth mouthfeel.
D-very smooth and hides the alcohol well, a little syrupy and thick

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautifully clear ruby-brown color with a fine-bubbled lingering tan head. A nice looking beer.

Mmmmm, smells great! A citrusy hop explosion. This has gotta be dry hopped. Has a large malty backbone, but is still just reeks of grapefruit, lemon, pancakes and clover honey.

Definitely a hoppy monster. Uber-fresh and crisp. Plenty of maltiness, but the hops shine sooo brightly like polaris! Kind of reminds me of Lagunitas lucky 13. Just a fantastic beer...well done Terrapin!

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, opaque, slightly reddish brown, almost mahogany, with a thick and fine-bubbled pale tan head. Hoppy aroma has just a hint of cloves. Flavor is quite hoppy but not too bitter, rather lip-smacking, with a spicy hint. Texture is tingly, fizzy and lively and leaves a pleasantly hoppy finish.

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

Thanks to HeadyHops81 for this beer. I love hopped up red ales and this one certainly did not disapoint. Pours a dark reddish brown color with a big tan head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass. You can tell that this has a large malt bill but it is all overpowered by the hops. I detect citrus, mainly grapefruit, pine, and a touch of herbal medicinal qualites as well. The malt comes more into play in the flavor. Starts sweet with touches of caramel and molassas but then all the hops they put into this beer come alive. Grapefruit and pine elements compliment the malt. Finishes sweet which I do not typically like but I enjoyed the overall effect. Alcohol is detected and is warming stopping just short of hot. Has a bigger body with a creamy, smooth texture. Just enough carbonation to give it life. This beer does not lack flavor from malt or hops. You do not have to have one or the other, but both in one wonderful package. The big nature of this beer and the high ABV are the only limiting factors in drinking this beer. Outstanding!

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

This bottled brew pours into the pint glass at room temperature for a deep dark rosey mahogany color with a giant oatmeal colored head and gobs of lacing. The aroma is hearty nutty malt and fruity pine hops. My first taste brings a thick malt and sweet piney rye. It's mid-bodied plus with a nice grainy tone, warm and full flavored, vaguely resinous. It's quite drinkable for an imperial but there is a hint of alcohol that gives it some warmth and gusto. A delicious taste experience. Bravo.

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Photo of KevinGordon
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of ShemRahBoo
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of thagr81us
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a standard shaker. Poured a dark red brown with a two finger off-white almost tan head. Maintained phenomanal lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of big sweet malt, caramel, and subtle hop. The flavor was of massive caramel malt, subtle dark chocolate, subtle cream, and subtle sweet hop on the followthrough. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew to put it simply. The flavors were really well balanced with the malt and all of the other bitter flavors that show up toward the end. Goes down nice and easy as well. This is a must try for any Red Ale or IPA fan out there.

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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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