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 jzeilinger
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent ruby red with a nice creamy head. This has a really weird aroma for a red ale, but I like it - smells like a piney, citrusy, malt bomb to put it mildly. Has very active carbonation with tiny bubbles that continues long after the initial pour, I'm liking this so far.

The taste of Monster resembles nothing like the smell. The aroma is really quite mild compared to how it tastes. The flavor is quite interesting. The malts and hops dance on the tongue in a slightly prickly manner. The malts and the hops roll over each other so the sensation is malts, then hops, then malts, hops, etc. It's like the ingredients are doing battle to be the prevalent taste but one doesn't win out over the other, it's balanced very well. The malts resemble a toasted caramel and the hops are piney citrus. Has a nice wet finish and doesn't leave your tongue dry. For a red ale, this is pretty drinkable and I can see myself having two or three of these in a session (on a weekend, of course). For 8.3%, I'm not really detecting it.

I'm not a huge fan of red ales but when you intermingle this amount of hop goodness, I can't resist. The name speaks for itself - nice ABV and a tricked out red ale - this is a good one.

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Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Bitterbill
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle in a trade wit...err...this is the one bottle that I moved around and I'm not certain who I got it from. I (think* it was RustyDiamond but if I'm wrong, let me know and I'll give proper credit.

This pours from 12oz bottle a clear deep amber with about a 1 finger head of foam that does shrink some but by the end of session, there's still a good 1/2" layer there. Nice.

The smell is nice and hoppy(citrus) fruity, and there's a good touch of caramel malt there as well.

The taste has a nice hoppy flavour of citrus that isn't overly bitter along with a more than ample caramel malt and some toasted grain tatses. Very nice, particulary with the hops; the ones they are using bring something different to the table as I say, again, there's a very fruity flavour to them and they aren't what I'm used to. Well done indeed.

It has a nice thickish mouthfeel to it and the carbonation is on the low side; it finishes bittersweet and lingers on some time after the swallow.Yikes! This is 8.3%abv?? You could have fooled me as there's almost no trace of it during my session. Very drinkable and a brew I'd love to visit again.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic. Thanks to beerwolf77 for this one!

(A)- Pours a dark and cloudy mahogany color that produced a light tan head. Bits of lacing here and there.

(S)- A damp woody pine up front. Bits of lemon with a caramel-like sweetness.

(T)- Same as the smell only with bits of a fig and prune-like background as well.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Rather malty with an aged hop feel to it. Rather thick and almost chewy too.

(D)- I can see how the name would fit this if it were fresher, but now it is more of a malt monster; still a unique and new take on the style.

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Photo of DucksFan16
2.5/5  rDev -38.3%

Photo of cjgator3
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 edition. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark amber color with a tan head. The aroma is sweet malt, caramel and piney hops. For such a big beer, I was hoping for more hops in the nose. Instead, the malt dominates the aroma. The taste is similar to the aroma with a nice slightly toasted malt base, thankfully the hops play more of a role in the taste than in the aroma. Overall, this is a pretty solid seasonal offering from Terrapin that is recommended.

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

A: A deep burgundy-rose color with a pie crust tinted head that lapsed rather quickly with a clean glass void of lacing. Rather tame and laid back appearance for something called big hoppy monster but coloring is nice.

S: Alcohol is prominent at first along with flowery hops of modest intentions. The alcohol seems to be the main focus here along with some toasted breadiness and lemon juice.

T: Once again the alcohol plays a key role. Husky graininess, toasted bread and dry flowery hops with an overlay of pine and semi-dry lemons come out rather strong. The malt base is humongous, while the finish finds what seems to be Amarillo hops lacing the tongue. Nice example of hop usage and maltiness. The complexity of flavors is rather limited though its balance of malts and hops and body substance makes up for such.

M: Bready mouthful with a full bodied maltiness. The texture is slippery with a bit of syrupy feel and some alcohol warmth coming on followed by a flowery coating on the tongue.

D: Alcohol fueled, a bit warmer then expected per 8.3% abv, but worthy of its name and drinks really well by the bottle being easily handled.

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Photo of weeare138
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopdog for this...
Appears a reddish tone with spotty lacing being left behind.
Smell is of pine and citrus and sweet malt.
Taste is of caramel and sugary dough with nice hops coming through.
Mouthfeel is sticky with hop resin and sugary standing out.
Drinkability...very nice brew.

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Photo of avalon07
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a reddish hue and a fairly clear consistency. There was a good half inch of foamy, long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: The hops dominated the smell, though you do get malt and some citrus mixed in as well.

T: Lots of hops, some toasted malt and citrus flavor. Well balanced and packs a bit of a punch.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Full-bodied.

D: On the whole, this is a tasty, well-made beer. It has lots of character and is very drinkable.

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Photo of corby112
3.34/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark ruby red/copper almost brown color with golden ruby edges and a two finger frothy yellowish-beige head that has excellent retention, only very slowly fading into a thin cap and lasting ring that coats the glass with lacing on it's way down.

Nice citrus hop aroma with a large pine presence and a very prominent caramel malt and rye. This rye and caramel malt unfortunately take away from the hops but they're still there.

Earthy bitter and dry hops up front that are immediately countered by the sweet malt and rye backbone. Slightly smokey with a bit of roasty chocolate and caramel as well as some nice alcohol warmth. The bitterness does linger over the thick medium body into a very dry finish but this beer is a bit too malty for it's own good. It tastes more like a hoppy old ale or barleywine. Very dry piny finish is nice though.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.61/5  rDev -10.9%
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 Immortale25
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Shiner Bock pint glass. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a deep, dark amber color with a 1/4 inch head that quickly resolves to a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass with mold-patterned surface bubbles that indicate healthy yeast. Tiny lace bubbles stick to the glass inconsistently.

S- Smells of malt with potent alcohol fumes that, together, are balanced enough. So sweet, it smells almost like a barleywine. Some maple, oak and astringency wafts.

T- So many things coming on at once. First there's a blast of malty sweetness but then, immediately after, a considerable hop bite. These two sudden tastes spiral down to an aftertaste that honestly reminds me of Japanese food. That being said, I want to pair this one with some sushi.

M- Medium carbonation with a sharp, lingering bitterness from the intense hop profile. A bit thick due to the combination of hop oils and overt malt usage as well as some prickly twangs of booze that are not a problem at all.

O- At first, I didn't like this brew. I thought it was just another overzealous attempt at greatness for Terrapin. Glad I had a couple of bottles prior to reviewing it because, now that I've fully analyzed it, I see that this is a great beer that's multi-layered and full of depth.

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

(Served in a tulip glass) best if enjoyed by vintage 09 BB
A- This beer has a dark dens brown body with trails of microbubbles in slow motion supporting a creamy tan head that last a good bit.
S- The aroma of cereal is followed by a big pine hops with a cream hint. The pine flavor seems to grow as the beer warms. T- This beer has a big piny citrus hops flavor and a nice dark toasted malt flavor with a cream quality to it. The hops have a one and woody quality to them with a pine full finish with a slight resin flavor lingering after each sip.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat noted.
D- This beer has a nice full hop flavor with a good malt flavor supporting and some dark malt notes and some nice depth to the hops flavor.

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Photo of akorsak
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle of the 2006 release from a trade with DeaconBluez. As you'll see throughout my review, I treated this like a Brown Ale.

A: The IPA is surprisingly dark, looking more like a brown ale than an IPA variant. Some dark ruby red emerges from the bottom of the glass. The head was almost a finger and a half or so and has left a thin film all along the sides of the glass.

S: The nose is in line with the color, showing off a toffee and biscuit malt nose that have an inkling of hop undertone on the back end.

T: Big hop bitterness defines the initial impressions oof a sip. That initial bitterness is a brief flash in the pan that quickly steps away to allow the real star to come through. The toffee and nut malts are bold throughout the glass, providing a dry semi-sweet flavor that never allows the hops to come back out. The finish continues with the graininess, more cereal bomb than hop bomb without a doubt.

M: The mouthfeel is more amber or brown ale than IPA, clearing the formula has changed since that long-ago first review. The alcohol is well hidden, lending to a nice brown ale body.

D: The ale threw me for a loop, as I expected an IPA. That being said, this is a pretty good facsimile of an English brown ale, the flavors are nutty and strong and the alochol is reasonably hidden.

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Photo of IdrinkGas
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

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

On-tap, served in a pint

A somewhat hazy reddish amber with a huge yellow tinted cap. Solid retention and chunky spider web lacing.

A burst of pine and citrus with toffee and burnt toast. There is a good dose of booze in the aroma as well. Pretty broad nose, very inviting.

Pine needles and lightly toasted toffee up front with a rush of earthy sweetness through the middle. The finish is bitter grapefruit and booze. So, apparently the "big" in the title is in relation to the booze and not the hops. The hops did not blow me away by any means.

Smooth with a medium body and mild carbonation. A bit slick due to the boozey finish, but not in a bad way. The amount of booze took me by surprise though.

This is a nicely hopped amber ale with a hearty kick of booze. Not something that could be easily sessioned.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle received as extra from goryshkewych. Thanks a bunch! 2007 vintage, poured into my Duvel tulip

A: Very very deep red with ruby highlights. 1/2 cm dark beige head.

S: Pine and citrus hops with a lot of pineapple. There's also some burnt caramel and syrupy sweetness (in a good way)

T: Hoppy for a regular amber and under-hopped for an imperial red. In any case, the hops are pleasantly biting with definite pine notes. The caramel sweetness comes through really well with a slight rum note. The alcohol starts to peep through on the finish but is in check

M: The body on the finish is a little thin for my liking but the carbonation is pleasant and tingling

D: This is very very drinkable for the ABV

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Photo of ppoitras
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from hoppedup as part of the East Coast 6-Pack & Shirt BIF. Thanks for the opportunity. Best before box on label is empty.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" brown head above the lightly cloudy red brew. What head there is lasts pretty well, with average lacing. Aroma is full of perky green hops, with a little room for malt sweetness and some alcohol to peek through. Taste is initially well-balanced, and the the piney hops keep coming and coming, with a slightly warming close. Possibly light on the hops for the style, but we'll give the benefit of the doubt here. Mouthfeel and drinkability are great for the style. Very nice brew, wouldn't mind having another of these, for sure.

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Photo of whatname
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of cbutova
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from a few nights back. Pours out a dark crimson red with a two finger head that has decent retention. Leaves a coat of fine lacing on my glass as well as a cloud and ring atop the beer. The smell is a bit hoppy, seems like they have faded. I still get fruity/citrus and pine notes from the hops. A great caramel malt backs the hops as well as some brown sugar and light roast malt notes. The smell needs a bit more strength. The taste is also faded of hops but still the fruit and pine comes in. Caramel malt backbone is great with the hops. There is some dark/roast taste with some brown sugar notes in there. A good balanced taste with no huge flavors to ruin it. The mouthfeel is moderate bodied and carbonated, suiting the flavors well. The creaminess is very nice. A bit of warmth hits the tongue and makes for a nice mouthfeel. The price was OK and the balance/taste of the beer was great. The ABV was very well hidden. Not a session beer but a good one. I would like to try this one ultra-fresh or on-tap some time.

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Photo of Brad007
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear red color with a thin head into my glass.

Aroma is full of malt and grassy hops, which is highly enticing.

Taste is smooth and full of sweet malt at first and then followed by grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is full of grassy hop and sweet malt flavors. Smooth. Leaves a very nice hop bite at the back of the throat. Not too overpowering either.

A very nice example of the style that due to the ABV, should be in its' own category. I can't quite tell what the hops are right off the bat but it's definitely one of the better examples of the style that I've had.

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Photo of n2185
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Definitely doesn't pour like a typical amber. It pours a chocolaty brown with a finger of tan head. Head retention is fairly good and it leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S: Some caramel malt with dark fruits up front like raisins up front followed by some pine hop aromas.

T: Similar to the smell, there's a blast of caramel malt and dark fruit up front. Then the hops kick in, providing a good amount of pine with some bitterness in the aftertaste. The sweet malt also sticks around in the aftertaste.

M: Medium body with some light-medium carbonation.

D: This drinks more like a light barleywine than an amber ale. This bottle might have some age on it, which could contribute to that. Goes down very smooth with a nice mix of malt and hops.

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Photo of DrJay
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to derrickt007 for throwing in this extra bottle as part of Double Trouble GIF.

This beer poured a clear, deep auburn with a light brown head. The foam formed a solid, short cap that showed decent retention and left a fair bit of lacing - pretty solid to start and a little more streaky as the glass emptied. The aroma was a nice combination of malt and hops - caramel and toffee sweetness along with notes of citrus and pine, just a little grassy and herbal. Pine resin bitterness starts soft and grows into the finish, gaining some grapefruit character by the end. Lots of rich caramel flavour with citrus, orange peel filling it out. A little viscous, very creamy with controlled carbonation. Just a little dryness with a hint of alcohol warmth. This is a damn fine beer, easy going down and leaves you wanting more. Thanks again Derrick!

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Photo of maximum12
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to sholland119 for throwing this into our most recent spring trade. This one's been on my want list for quite a while - what hop head doesn't want to get into a BIG HOPPY MONSTER? Well, I do, at least. Onwards.

Big H. is a deep, clear red, & I've always liked redheads. Smell is surprisingly lacking in hops, just a head-clearing sweetness.

This brew is big & brawny. Despite the moniker, the malt is in the front row with a battering ram. It's very thick, on par with some Russian Imperials, but lacking the cloying sweetness I don't enjoy on malt heavy beers; perhaps the rearguard of hops are evening things out. I'm having some trouble with the taste subtexts here, but they're nice.

Just a wee bit on the heavy side. Only about 1/4 of the bottle is gone, & my stomach is already beginning to fill up.

The advertised hoppiness seemed to be almost completely absent, but it's in line with everything I've enjoyed from Terrapin, that is to say, very good.

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Photo of Zach136
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 866 ratings.
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