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Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster | Terrapin Beer Company

591 Reviews
Terrapin Big Hoppy MonsterTerrapin Big Hoppy Monster

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States | website

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 Reviews
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Reviews: 591 | Ratings: 865
Photo of brentblackwell
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark brownish red. Almost looks chocolate-like. Some carbonation. Thick, cloudy beer around the middle, thinner at the edges. The color is a plus, as it's mysteriously appealing. Small beige head but it has great retention.

Smell: Malty, malty, malty. Bready as well. It's a delicious-smelling beer. No matter what you think of the taste, this beer smells even better. The caramel malts are as inviting as any I've ever whiffed.

Taste: Tastes great. The malts immediately take over as it hits your tongue, but they slowly give way to oaky hops. The hops don't overwhelm, and considering the name, they play a surprise supporting role in the taste of the beer. There's a slight zip of carbonation at the end that adds another layer to the taste.

Mouthfeel: Predictably thick, creamy, almost chewy (in a good way). Thick like molasses - it stays cohesive in your mouth. The thickness is welcome, and doesn't distract from the taste.

Overall: A brilliant beer. It's beautiful from pour until the last drop hits your tongue. It's a pleasure with every sip, as it has a near-perfect blend of texture and taste. And to top it off, it's one of the most aromatically gorgeous beers I've ever encountered. Stunning, and worth every penny (~$11 for a 4-pack).

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Photo of Ivanthehero
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I somehow totally missed out on the 2005 version of BHM even thought I live in Athens and look for new beers constantly. Guess I got a little carried away on a belgian kick. I am glad I didn't miss this years offering(how could I with all the hype).

Appearance-a beautiful reddish amber, makes you exited just looking at it.

Smell- Spicey, I smell cinnamon, dark fruits and cotton candy. Alcahol is quite present as well.

Taste-Great balance between twangy taste bud tingling hops and smooth malty sweetness. Quite sweet with a hint of cherries. Again, the alcahol definatly makes itself known.

Mouthfeel- as a I move it around in my mouth tiny creamy bubbles explode on my tongue and the beer has a certain thickness to it.

Dr-Ab- Not as drinkable as other DIPA's I have had, but thats just fine. There are a lot of flavors happening and a lot of sensations going on that need to be taken in slowly.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of DWilliams76
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From my notes. A giant, giant beer, and one that completely changes after about eight months on the shelf. Fresh, the name fits. Old, eh. So let’s go with the fresh: Very citric and piney, but with an orange-glazed cinnamon bun heart, this beer screams largess. The hops give a lovely grapefruit slant to the brew, but the super-sweet malts get a bit thick as the alcohol seeps its way into your internal ketchup. One a night is plenty, for damn sure. But you’ll be glad you drank it.

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Photo of ironchefchris
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

great beer. purchased at total wine in midlo and loved it. drank from the bottle, not poured. powerful beer, lots of flavors but totally drinkable. the beer reminds me of a cross between an ipa and a typical red ale. i hate ipa's finish, and since this one didn't have that finish, i really enjoyed it. smell isn't as strong as i expected, but the taste was. awesome beer...i could down a bunch pretty easily, not a sipper like i expected. highly recommended!

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Photo of ImHereForTheBeer
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was right up my alley, loved the complexity of hops and malts. This beer came together for me.

Appearance - a medium brown color, reminded me of Medium Amber Grade A Vermont Maple Syrup.
Aroma - surprisingly mild and sweet.
Taste - The strong hop character will knock you back in the first few sips, once your tongue is numb other flavors begin to peak through such as a nutty flavor.
Mouthfeel - this beer was very smooth
Drinkablility - I would definitely have more than one.

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Photo of matdot
4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Whoa is right with this one. This is a "big" brew in my opinion, hence its name.

Pours a thick creamy head and has a dark brown color with hints of amber. The taste ha, thick hops in here. Think of biting into a big juicy fruit. Terrapin comes out strong with this seasonal. Taste of alcohol is well hidden, but will creap up on you in a hurry.

I have found this most of the year for some reason. I guess they distributed alot of it in the Atlanta area.

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Photo of coldchill
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly cloudy deep red with a slight, tan head. Cloudiness cleared up quickly. Contrary to the other reviews here, I did not find this beer significantly hoppy. It is a very nice, big, red ale with understated sweetness and adequate maltiness. I really expected much more hoppiness. While it wasn't what I expected, It is a tasty, very drinkable beer, particularly for 8% ABV.

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Photo of dk83022
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a traditional pint glass

A- Fairly dark for an amber ale. Has an almost deep cherry tint to it.

S- Alcohol. Very complex with similarities of a strong ale.

T- Heavy with a lot of flavors. Roasted malt, fruit, with a tiny hint of citrus.

M- Great body at first, fizzles out a little bit.

O- Great, Great beer. Big fan of the brewery!

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Photo of wsantas
3.33/5  rDev -18%
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.

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Photo of 3dudesbeerblog
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The name alone is what attracted me to this brew. Like Hopsecutioner, this one came fresh out of Athens, GA where Terrapin Brewery Co. calls home.

The name was not misleading. This monster pours out a menacing dark amber color with an off white 2 finger head.

The aromas jumping out of the glass were those of dark fruits, roasted malts, and obviously hops.

The monstrous amounts of hops were balanced out by even greater amounts of malts is what the label says. This is evident by the dark fruity flavors and the barleywine-like sweetness this beer possesses. There was an obvious booziness as well, which I didn’t mind as it didn’t fight with any of the complexity of the beer.

I was a little scared of the monster’s color when poured, since I’m not the biggest fan of dark beers in the summer months, however I was pleasantly surprised by how light of a mouthfeel Big Hoppy Monster possessed, leaving my tongue with a crisp hop residue after each sip.

I really enjoyed the complexity of this beer and can’t wait to try it again.

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Photo of bookem
3.17/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

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Photo of mindmage625
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very deep, dark color. Held to the light, you see a beautiful blood-red beer. The head, on the other hand, was pretty weak and did not lace well on my glass.

Smell: Fruits, Flowers, Grains. You name it, it was there. The fruits were mostly dried red fruits. The flowers smelled more like pungent roses than light daisies. It was definitely fun to analyze.

Taste: Again, dried fruits and pungent flowers. Tastes like a good imperial red ale should. You could add an equal part of water to this beer and it would still taste better than most red ales I've had. The only misstep is a fairly bitter note at the end.

Mouthfeel: Heavy; sits on your tongue for a while, which is nice because the flavors open up as the beer warms up.

Drinkability: Eat what tastes good; drink what tastes good.

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Photo of B891
4.75/5  rDev +17%
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 Langston
4.79/5  rDev +18%
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 MargaritavilleOH
4.95/5  rDev +21.9%
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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Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
91 out of 100 based on 591 ratings.
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