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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 866 |  Reviews: 592
Photo of russpowell
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 version

Pours ruddy brown with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Biscuitty, brown sugar & later

T: Bready with brown sugar & earthy hops. Follows dry with maple syrup. Finishes dry with subtle & earthy/lemon hops+ biscuitty malts, more hops please

MF: Chewy with low carbonation & medium/heavy body. Skews hoppy still. but more hops throughout

Drinks much better than previous try, not for hopheads

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dusky cherry with luminous, rose colored edges; an absolutely gorgeous color that is more consistent with an Imperial Red (as the brewery claims) than a DIPA. The golden beige head is beginning to melt like a milkshake in the midday sun. An impressive amount of sea foam lace is arrayed on the glass, with more sure to follow at low tide.

The nose is outstanding. It's mega-hoppy (grapefruit peel and pine sap) with no shortage of caramel malt (brown sugar). The hop bill consists of Ahtanum, Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe and Magnum... an absolutely killer lineup if I've ever seen one. Those boys at Terrapin know their hops and they love to use them with reckless abandon.

This is amazingly delicious beer. Not that I doubted it for a second (I've been a Terrapin fan ever since I tasted Rye P.A.). Big Hoppy Monster, in addition to being true to its name, is true to the Imperial Red style. There probably isn't much difference between this beer and a DIPA, but I still think it's a valid distinction.

The malt backbone is Mastadon huge and provides loads of sweet, sticky toffee pudding-like flavor. That's usually a negative in my book since all that malt tends to get in the way of the hop flavor and bitterness. Not so here. There's such a massive hop load that their flavor and bitterness survive unscathed.

There's no way to pick out the contributions from the various hops. Pink grapefruit juice leads the way, followed closely by sticky spruce juice. Since Ahtanum is similar to Cascade, there isn't one of these hops that I don't love. It still takes skill to combine them in the creation of a tongue-ruffling, ass kicking beer and Terrapin has shown how it can and should be done.

The finish is so long the flavor doesn't fade completely by the next sip. Of course, it doesn't have a chance since the sips are coming fast and furious. If there's any beer that begs to be released in bombers, this is it. Make that wax-dipped 750s. Given the massive quantity of ingredients, how could the mouthfeel be anything less than fantastically full and lush?

Big Hoppy Monster is big, it's hoppy and it's a (hop) monster of truly epic proportions. The label states that it's the 'inaugural brew' of the Terrapin Monster Beer Tour. Let's hope that doesn't mean it'll only be brewed once. It deserves to be a regular release so that hopheads will never be without one of the boldest and hoppiest beers the South has yet produced.

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

Thanks to VG for sending this my way!

A: Pours a murky red/amber with a one finger tan head that reduces a little, but a 1/2 finger head lasts for most of the rest of the time drinking this beer. Some foamy lacing formed around the entire glass.

S: Certainly hoppy, not sure if its a hop monster (will let the taste judge that aspect). Nice combination of pine and some orange as well as a little bit of spice, almost cinnamon. Pretty good dose of toffee and caramel as well.

T: Quite like it, not hoppy like an IPA, but a well done hoppy red ale, which was the goal. A little bit of bready malt, caramel and sugar as well as some pine and orange. A slightly bitter finish that is more on the sweet side.

M: Medium to full bodied, nice carbonation level giving it a bit of a creamy feel to it.

O: A well done beer, doesn't quite live up to some of the other hopped up american amber/red ales, but this one holds its own.

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Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lots of tiny tan bubbles, I poured this one hard. There has to be some body to this brew as the bubbles are rising a bit slower than expected. Amazing head retention, deep chestnut color with a good clarity. Big aromatics from this ale, malt drops a semi-burnt caramel tone with toasted grain and the hops bring herbal and citric tones. A hint of fruit in the nose of figs and plums. Big creamy full body hold a bit of smoothness from the moderate amount of carbonation. Lush malt up front with deep caramel, toasted bread and dried hay flavors. Hops jump in quick with a very balancing bitterness, mellow citric is strewn everywhere with a hints of wild flowers and blond tobacco. Alcohol is warming but not hot at all, fruity with fig and dried plum flavors. Finishes bittersweet but a bit more sweet than bitter.

Yeah, its contract brewed but not for long as they are waiting for their license. Terrapin has proved over the years, as well as other beer marketing companies, that good beer can be produced through contract brewing. Big Hoppy Monster is a perfect example of that, very well balanced but enough hops to go around. I was a bit surprised of the size of the malt backbone, in a good way as well. This is one brewer to watch in the years to come.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Edition

A - Poured a nice reddish amber with a good one inch plus head which faded slightly only leaving behind about a quarter inch layer accross the top. Very nice side glass lace and carbonation gave it a very full look.

S - Very hoppy. Unlike last years this had quite the bitter piney hoppiness to it. Lots of orange and pine resin aromas took over. Definatly a malted back though, as it warmed soem of the more sweet notes started to come out, very well balanced indeed,

T - Very nice. Not an IPA by any means, but a highly hopped red ale. Lots of orange and pine resin mixed in with a decent amount of sweetness. Lots of sugar and a candy apple like taste.

M - Very nice. It was definatly thick, but ample carbonation helped to offset it somewhat. Had a good lingering aftertaste and the overall feel was much fuller then last year.

D - Super, this my kind of session ale. It was hoppy enough to keep my intrest, but at the same time not overbearing. Really no hint of the alcohol at all.

Overall this was much better to me then last year. I really thought this was living up to its reputation this year as a hop monster. A really great brew and something I am glad I can get alot of around here

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

On tap at Cobblestone's on 1/6/10.

A - A gently hazed dark copper/bronze w/ thick pale cream. The beading is tight w/ a speckling of lace that holds on the glass

S - An earthy pine hop aroma w/ slighly fruity ester -dried cherry aroma w/ mild yeasty odor. The nose has a mild malt and alcohol influence

M - A mildly sweet and moderately high bitterness in the feel w/ moderate carbonation and semi-dry finish

T - A strong piney hop taste w/ subtle fruity yeast which is supported well by the light caramel mal backing. The taste has subtle pepper and mild alcohol influence. It seems lightly nutty w/ a caramel hint in the finish

D - A solid ale, it is satisfying, but the sweetness/alcohol might get to me in multiples as it is 8.3%

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Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip. Received as an extra from cwguy5; thanks man. Not sure of a bottling date but bottle says 2011 vintage.

a - Pours a dark reddish brown color with two inches of off white head and moderate carbonation. Light lacing and an inch of retention throughout.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, fruity malts, and light citrus hops. Very malty, with some light hops, but nice.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, fruity malts, bready malts, toasted malts, alcohol, and light citrus hops. Again, very malty.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth but a tiny bit of alcohol come through here.

o - Overall a pretty good red ale. Very malty and not as hoppy as I would have thought, but still very nice. Would have it again.

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

Thanks to TroyG2352 for hooking it up with this one in a recent trade. As an extra, no less!

A: The pour is a hazy, dark amber color with a thin layer of off-white foam.

S: The nose has some nice notes of grapefruit with a slight pine to it. There's quite a bit of caramel, toffee, and brown sugar, however.

T: The same grapefruit character is present with a bit more in terms of bitter pine than the nose had to offer. The sweetness of a red ale is there as well, with plenty of caramel and brown sugar.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: This beer seemed to be conflicted as to whether it wanted to be hoppy or malty. I prefer my reds with more bitterness, so this missed the mark a bit.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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 thatoneguymike
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of johnnnniee
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Has a smallish head that disappears quickly. Aroma is surprisingly malty with caramel and biscuit aromas as well as a citrus hop aroma. I was expecting an over the top hop bomb. Taste is more caramel and bitter resinous citrusy hops. Very well balanced beer. Another great brew from Terrapin, my favorite brewery from Georgia.

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

Appears a deep red crimson beautiful pour with a large deep khaki tan head, small bubbles form a tight lacing that has even streaks as it clings to the glass with each sip. Aroma offers up big juicy grape fruit, pine, and floral hops. Sticky malt sweetness with caramel and tropical fruits galore, like mango and pineapple. Slight creamy alcohol soothes the whole session. Flavors are great, intense bitterness with floral and pine bitterness and a big malty caramel candied sugared edge really great malt sugars infused with hops. I always knew I loved Frederick Brewing, even if Flying Dog owns them nowadays what a great contract brewer. Thanks Spike and John for coming into the Burgh. Keep releasing these brews in the Burgh and I will buy em up. Mouthfeel is fuller bodied with hop oils and alcohol simmering, what a brew I love every aspect harsh yet full of finesse on the palate it's hard to explain what a great drinking beer. Drinkability is awesome, I can't get enough I had Rye Squared while visiting Georgia, when my brother Dante' first moved down to the area. What an experience, I need to try more of these Monster beers. Including the Imperial Pils and Wake and Bake Coffee infused Imperial Stout. I love Terrapin plus I currently have a mixed case of their standard brews, those are just as good.

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

Pours an amber red color that has a little bit of yeast haze. It has a finger and a half of tanned head that is actually more orange in color than tan... Lacing is all over the place and clinging to just about everything it touches. Aroma of this beer is a pungent blast of hops ranging from fruity citrus to pine and spice. Blending well with the hop character is the malt sweetness that flirts with being almost like caramel. Taking a sip, you get a wack of malty sweet goodness and a lingering taste of the spicey hop bitterness. As the beer warms, the alcohol comes through more in both the aroma and the taste but it is a welcomed addition that pairs well adding complexity without overpowering the other features. Feel of this beer is quite heavy and carb is a perfect middle of the road. The lingering aftertaste changes from bitter to sweet with each sip. This beer was really enjoyable and is very drinkable. It really increases my fondness of imperial reds.

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Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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 tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, haxy amber with a quarter inch of off white head that has great retention. Smells of bready malt and piny, faintly citrusy hops. Tastes like heavy barley malt with undertones of caramel, pineapple, and faint citrus. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with light carbonation.

This is a very smooth, easy to drink beer with a relatively high ABV. The malt content reminds me of fresh Bigfoot or 90 Minute, but the hop character is a little more subdued and pineapple-like. Delicious; I'd get another one in a heartbeat.

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Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear ruby hued amber with a thick light tan/creme head. Beautiful looking beer. Nose is a purely hoppy red kind of thing. Leafy, malty sweet. Beautiful smelling beer. Flavor is thick with malts. Slightly sweet amber tones. A slight bit leafy. Beautiful flavor. Feel is a bit robust with carbonation and the liquid is as it should be. This is a damn good beer. Damn good.

Thanks to raverjames for another ridonkulous extra. Good lord.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Vintage 2011.

A one finger light tan foamy head is presented off the pour, but at least it stays. Body color is a very dark indian red with ruby and red hues towards the edges. It looks a little frozen and lifeless.

Nose is strong ale smelling. Big malts and a little bit of heat. There is a hint of piney hop wanting to creep out behind this thick malt booze however.

Taste is like a chewy strong ale, with a faint chocolate bitter. This doesn't feel much different than a typical American Strong Ale. Rich malts with a thick body that is certainly tolerable. Hop angle on this is pretty much non existent. There is a certain tobacco like dry finish on this which is kind of interesting, sort of a "tickle" in the back of the throat.

It's a very good beer, not worth of it's name, maybe I have an old one, but it's too much in strong ale territory, however, it doesn't taste particularly boozy either for an 8 abv. I do enjoy it for what it is, just the name hints to me of some disappointment.

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Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer Best enjoyed Before dating on the label "Vintage 08 BB" huh? Oh well they are trying to give the good beer consumer some info, just need to work out the bugs and make things more user friendly somehow... Pours cloudy dark reddish amber slight dark tan head, quickly goes to a thin film and the lace left on the glass is best described as simply minor. Grainy hop nose. I love hoppy brew and this is shows its hoppy character, not in the aroma or hop flavor department, but just slightly later in the experience in the bitterness area. This offering is crunchingly bitter. Quite an enjoyable experience when the sweet early malts are added to the equation. . Nice stuff, a ballsy high octane beer.

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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 dvmin98
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

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

Clear crimson hue, solid slab of creamy off-whitish foam above, slim but staying...

Aroma: wide-open, huge flowering of piney hop aromatics, just the kind I love! Grapefruit, and other citrus are at play, but pine needles are largest in the overall profile...sweet, and slightly bitter, stuff here! Very nice! I could just smell
his and smell this all day long! Rich, resiny, resonant.

Taste, already...bitter, but extra-sweet and fruity, a huge expansion in the mouth, a blast on the senses...a fierce delivery of flavor...huge, immense...big and beautiful...humbling...delicious...wonderful play on the tongue, bitterness, fruit, and more, keeping the senses busy with all the flavors at the ready.

Full-bodied, incredibly flavored, assuredly pleasurable for hopheads like me...dang it, but this is great stuff!
Let all hopheads know that they must bow to the direction of Athens once in awhile,too...and genuflect to the folks at Terrapin. This is amazing stuff!

"truly unique in taste in complexity", says the label. Well, I've had other beers like this, but they're so few and far between that it's useful to recognize each one that comes cross our path.

A humdinger from the Peach State! Cheers!

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Photo of MasterSki
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this as a throw-in from TempsPerdu. Thanks! Vintage 2008, served in my usual Surly pint glass.

A - It's red (coppery)! One finger of reddish-tinged tan foam that dissipates quickly. Not much in the way of lace. A few bubbles lazily rise to the top.

S - There's the obligatory citrus hops - largely tangerine-grapefruit, but there's also a pretty heaping malt backbone on this one that evokes a maple and bready character. There's also a slight booziness which evokes cough syrup a little. Not all that potent.

T - Bitter - there's a lot of grapefruit in the flavor. The taste starts on the sweet malty side with a touch of citrus, but slowly the hops overpower this as it moves through the mouth. Leaves a fairly bitter aftertaste as well. It's good but a little unbalanced - I was kind of surprised after the amount of malt presence in the smell.

M - Good viscosity and carbonation. There's a lot of tingle on my upper lip which is actually kind of refreshing. Very smooth.

D - It's a little bloaty and the bitterness can get a little overwhelming. I guess I shouldn't be overly surprised by a beer called Big Hoppy Monster. The ABV isn't overly obvious in the taste and mouthfeel. It's probably for the best that this comes in 12oz bottles - not sure if I could handle a bomber. That being said this glass went down pretty quick.

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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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