Terrapin Oaked Big Hoppy Monster | Terrapin Beer Company

very good
111 Reviews
Terrapin Oaked Big Hoppy MonsterTerrapin Oaked Big Hoppy Monster

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
75 IBU

Added by GJ40 on 11-07-2008

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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 564
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage. Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, opaque, amber coloring with golden highlights around the edges and a thin, filmy, bubbly, off-white head on the pour that disappears almost immediately. Aromas of tangy sweet notes forward, with grapefruit highlighting caramel and toffee. Roasted notes are subtle, with some woody notes buried deep in there, as well. Flavors are hop forward, with a bitter and peppery blast being followed immediately by a rich, sugary, roasted caramel backbone. Pulls together nicely. The oak characteristics take a greater hold about mid-palate, providing a balance to the strong, robust hop and malt characteristics. Some tropical fruit notes highlight towards the middle to end of the palate, where there is also two building forces of spice and booze. This thing is layered, and it is a beast. Mid-bodied, yet light considering all the big flavor profiles. The pepper really draws the line between the palate and the aftertaste, clearing the field for a tangy sweet blend of caramel and tropical fruit. Slick, lingering finish, with a slow building warmth from the elevated ABV. This one is fun, but it's a workout for your taste buds, too. Be prepared to sip and absorb.

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Photo of srhoadsy
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served chilled into a snifter.

Pours chestnut brown with a quarter inch dark tan head that quickly recedes leaving minimal surface layer and lacing.

Strong aromas of caramelized sugar and pine resin.

Very strong initial flavors of the aforementioned caramelized sugar and pine resin but as it rests on the back of the tongue you get strong flavors of wood and hints of leather from the oak.

Medium to heavy bodied with moderate carbonation. Lingering aftertaste with very little alcohol burn.

Overall, not a bad beer if you like this particular flavor profile. Not overly complex but the flavors that are there definitely make their presence known.

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Photo of teromous
1.59/5  rDev -59%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A: The body is a very cloudy dark brown color with an eggshell colored fluffy head that delivers some good lacing on the glass.

S: I get a slam of catty hop aroma, followed by a strong alcohol scent, and a bit of band-aid. It's not that pleasant to me.

T: At first I get a very strong alcohol flavor, followed by what tastes like plastic or vinyl. It's pretty awful tasting, I don't know if it's always like this or what. I do get some woody oak flavor but nothing competes with the plastic and alcohol flavors that are so sickly strong. In the aftertaste I can fortunately taste some of the hops, which have a bit of pine flavor and are a bit earthy. It's unfortunate that I can't even drink this beer because of how it tastes.

M: The beer has a full mouthfeel. It is incredibly hard to drink this beer because of the overall flavors.

O: I could not drink this beer. I was expecting some big hoppy delicious beer with oak, but instead I was slammed with this awful combination of plastic and alcohol flavor. I kept telling myself "there's no way it's that bad" and had to take another sip. Obviously it wasn't getting any better with the sips. I would say that if I was in a life or death situation where I had to drink it, then I could. Given any other beer, I probably would choose a run-of-the-mill commercial beer over this.

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Photo of jkeefe1800
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle 2012 edition into a tulip glass. color is a deep red hue, with a rich looking but not overly large head. Smell is aromatic full of herbal, floral attributes. First taste is smoothier then expected, hops are present full of pine and earth. The oak comes through next it acts almost like a cleaning agent it takes the hops and levels it all out for an extremely easy drinking double IPA. Overall a really nice beer, I don't like to be beat over the head by hoppy bitterness i appreciate the skill it takes to turn a bold IPA into something that stays true to itself but it also equally drinkable and something i want to go back to seconds on.

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Photo of Juuroumaru
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a brown but when held up to light you can see the reddish hue of this beer. Has a light tan head that dissipates after awhile.
S- Oak,Hops, and some caramel malts
T- Caramal malts with a nice oak background
M- Thin with solid carbonation
O- Theres a lot going on here but its well balanced and not over powering in any 1 area.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown color. Somewhat typical of most amber ales, the head has a one finger offwhite shade with a wonderful creaminess to it. It fades away to a thin collar fairly quick, but leaves nice sheets of lacing down the glass.

S: This one is somewhat intriguing, to say the least. The first thing I note is aged piny hops along side a large caramel backbone. When given a chance to open up, the aroma shifts slightly toward vanilla, toffee, oak, and chocolate. Hints of booze also appear.

T: At first, mild hints of hops hit the palate...and when I mean mild, I mean nearly non-existent to my hop-discerning palate. The finish is fairly sweet vanilla mixed with some toffee. To me, the general flavor profile is hard to identify - it comes across as a weird, almost musty caramel sweetness. There's too much flavor muddling here for me to give a great score.

M: I like the creaminess of the texture a lot. It's a bit thin, and oaky tannins boost its drinkability at the cost of some softness. Carbonation is a touch low.

O: Not bad, just strange. The absolute closest comparison I can make to this is a 4-month old bottle of Nugget Nectar crossed with Oaked Arrogant Bastard. I wouldn't seek this out again, but I wouldn't refuse it, either.

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is hazy dark amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that died down and left a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Sweet aromas of caramel malts are present in the nose along with hints of floral hops.
T: The taste has flavors of caramel malts, notes of oak and hints of floral hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little sticky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a nice IPA if you like the combination of stickiness and oak. It's not too difficult to drink.

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Photo of mntlover
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy murky old copper color with a thumb sized tan head. Very pretty looking like dark murky beers. Head falls

Aroma is malty big chewy caramel malts, some nice deep sweetness to it. Hops smell old like they have been cellared , guess they have in oak more or less. As far as the oak goes only a light dry woody vanilla present which is fine. Little on the subdued side for a big hoppy monster but not bad.

Taste is like the nose I would say subdued also. Seems light at first watery caramel malts like hops kind of dry woody notes. but then kind of kicks in. Heavy sugar notes appear along with good does of vanilla coated hops for a weird finish. Not quite sure whats going on with this one?

Mouthfeel is medium carbonation on the flatter side of things.

Overall well it looks good, aside from that not sure if aging it in oak made it bland or what. Its not that its bad per say just kind of eh what were they going for here? Think I have enjoyed the rest of Terrapins brews much more then this one.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.12/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

2012 vintage. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with cool label art and awesome branded green pressure cap acquired at illicit retail in Los Angeles and served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've heard great things about Terrapin and this is my first beer from them. Cost me $6.00. 9.1% ABV confirmed.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a half finger light khaki colour head. Nice thickness, nice cream. Pretty good retention for the high ABV - about 4 minutes. Body colour is a dark murky caramel amber. Nontransparent; quasitranslucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not looking great for an Imperial Red. I'd expect a cleaner brighter amber or red hue. Light even lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. It's not ideal, but I'm optimistic.

Sm: Hm. Caramel and biscuit malt. Oak, sure. Light vanilla from the oak. Amber malts. Floral hops. Some bready grains. Not as hoppy as anticipated, but that isn't a bad thing per se. It comes off more like a nicely hopped barleywine than an imperial red. Some tropical fruits come through as it warms - turning me off a bit; I'm not a big fan of tropical fruit hop character - especially in an imperial red. Syrupy and sweet. I'm growing more and more suspicious of this as an alleged imperial red. It's really not to style, and even apart from style conventions it seems like a bit of a mess. Still, there's a lot of interesting things going on here; they just don't seem to be working together in a cohesive, focused way. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

T: Brown sugar, vinous character, heavy residual sugars with accompanying unwelcome sweetness. Some cream. Toasted malt and light vague toffee reminiscent of an over-aged barleywine or scotch ale. Hop character is shockingly timid, with generic floral hops the only note of interest. Some amber malts, but not enough to bring this into amber or imperial red territory. Oak is quite backgrounded, and the vanilla it provides comes off artificial. This is quite a mess; not at all focused or balanced. Maybe deliberately aging this imperial red - oak or not - was a poor idea. The flavour cuts out abruptly on the finish, leaving a weak aftertaste. Lacks subtlety and complexity. Poorly put together. Not a big fan of this one.

Mf: Way too thin on the finish. Smooth and wet throughout. Weak. Lacks body. Poor thickness. Poor presence on the palate. Doesn't suit the flavour profile well. Bad execution.

Dr: The problem here might simply be the premise. Aging an imperial red could well just be a shit idea. As my introduction to Terrapin, this beer hugely disappoints me. I'm content to just assert that it's the aging that ruined it, not Terrapin's brewing per se. After all, I'm sure My Bloody Valentine and Nugget Nectar would taste just as unflattering if aged in oak for an extended period of time. Best consumed when in the mood for a hoppy English barleywine, not an imperial red. Drinkable for the high ABV, but very disappointing. I definitely wouldn't get this again. Not sure what they were thinking.

I may sound a bit too critical throughout my review. Overall, it's an above average beer. I just had high hopes given the brewery's reputation.


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Photo of jgran737
3.1/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2012 Bottle poured into a DFH Snifter

A: About a one finger head that quickly dissipated. Dark and rich in color, pretty much what you'd expect from a barrel aged ale. No lacing to speak of.

S: Really need to let this guy warm up to pick out those smells. A very nice oak smell right off the bat that overpowers the other smells until it warms up. Once it got a little warmer, I was able to pick out some malt and a little bit of hops, however, just doesn't bring much to the table in this category.

T: Exactly what you'd expect. Oak / Malt immediately followed by a slight hop presence. Not much burn, but this bottle has sat around for awhile. Overall it's a very sweet brew.

M: Not much to speak of. Medium body, small burn, with a pretty spot-on carbonation for this brew.

O: I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it and definitely wouldn't pick up a case of it, but it was a nice change of pace and I'd probably consider getting a pint if I saw it on tap somewhere. Not Terrapin's best offering, but not their worst either.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2012 12oz bottle into a snifter. Deep ruby with a finger of rich and frothy light mocha head. Robust look that leaves sticky swathes of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is an even mix of green citrus, oak and toasted grains. The taste is more strong citrus backed by a combination of sticky caramel and toast. Oak is throughout, leaving this dry and a bit tannic in the finish along with a good bit of lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is fuller bodied with a prickly carbonation that then gets more creamy and slick feeling underneath. Alcohol is moderate, adding a sweet spiciness to the proceedings. Not bad. I get the feeling that this might have been a little better fresh.

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Photo of mscott1975
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish Head snifter. The beer pours a dark, muddy brown with some crimson hues and a 1 finger head. The head didn't last very long and settles into a thin cap around the edges. Nice looking beer.

Smell: Strong roasted malt smell, almost smells like a barley wine to me.

Taste: Very big, malty, sweet, syrupy beer that coats the tongue. Definitely some hops that tickle the tongue but definitely more malt than hop in my bottle. I get some very subtle hints of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Thick, sweet and syrupy. More carbonation on the tongue than I would have expected but not a bad quality for this beer. I think the carbonation is what really separates it from a barley wine type beer.

Overall: This is a good beer but not great. I almost get the feeling this beer isn't quite sure what it wants to be. With a name like Big Hoppy Monster, I would have expected more hop and less sweet malt. I'm not sure what the date is on this brew, so my guess is that the hops have started to fade a bit and the malt is taking over. I'm glad I tried it but glad I only bought a single.

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Photo of Hoptopher
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 21st Amendment pint glass.

The apperance is a nice deep amber color. lots of sedement floating in this one. Thin tan head that fads fast.
Not a lot on the smell, some roasted malts not to heavy on the hops.
Taste is good. Some dark fruit taste like plums. Not to boozy for the ABV. The taste definately out performs the smell. There is some hop presence that helps balance out the roasted malts.
There could be a little more in the carbination department, but I don't have a problem with it.

Overall a pretty good beer that I would have again, but not gonna go out of my way to find it.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2012 Vintage recently purchased but unfortunately less than fresh.

A - A huge amber colour with a golden orange glow along the bottom. A thin layer of tan coloured head formed on the pour and slowly receded to a ring around the edges of the glass.

S - Huge caramel and oak aromas with some lighter floral and toffee notes. Fairly sweet overall, as expected.

T - Oak/woody flavours are dominant with a huge sweet caramel, toffee and brown sugar presence. Some floral notes in the background with almost no bitterness present from the hops. Tannic with a somewhat noticeable alcohol presence.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slightly too much carbonation.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours into pint a lightly hazy dark crimson color. Short-lived head looks coarse and beige.

Oak, grapefruit hops, seared bread, earthy pine. Caramelly, too.

Dank hops yield resin and fermented citrus. Malt-strong, with a light roastiness. Grapefruit peel, minerality, oak spirals, tannic bitterness, and fusel. Not as fruity as I had hoped. Very mucky and oily, even in the feel. Bright carb stirs things up, but the body just wants to slither across the tongue. Quite the potent kick. Oakiness doesn't help, as the booziness just clings to the wood on the palate. Sweeter caramel and toffee notes push through and start to dominate, as the beer warms.

A beast of a beer. No secret in the name. Strong ale tendencies. Chunky and butch. Whole lotta beer in one glass. A bit showy.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I picked this one up because I remember the original Hoppy Monster being pretty darn good.

This version is okay. Firm sweet tone dominates with some nice typical amber character showing through. But it all seems kind of a clogged mess in that the boundaries of things seem muddled and it strikes me as a bit of a one dimensional thing.

I have no idea why the original Hoppy Monster is now retired and this has taken its place. Seems silly to me.

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Photo of tut2528
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a dark brown with a touch of rustiness. it creates about 1 fingers worth of head formation that that has a slight yellowness to it. the bubbles are actually much larger than to be expected... almost bead-like bubbles.

S: decent earthy hop profile, burnt sugar, sweet molasses, berry fruitiness, and a subtle oak character.

T: quite an interestingly balance here. fruitiness, and sweet malt/toffee comes through at first and the after taste is composed of a grassy hop profile. really not getting much of an oak character here

M: medium bodied, leaves a bit of a caramel sweetness on the palate with touch of grassy hops.

O: meh... i will admit that the alcohol is very well hidden as it sits in at 9.10%. but not the biggest fan of the balance as I continue to drink this. the sweetness if almost candy-like and therefore I feel the palate is in constant battle between the hops and this sweetness. oak is also very subtle

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Photo of Chaney
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Huge fan of Big Hoppy Monster, so I've been wanting to try this one for a while.

Served in a Port City snifter.

A: Poured an extremely dark, blood red color. Seriously, this was almost black. Not much head.... just a few bubbles.

S: Seriously, this was pretty faint. Just a bit of melted cherry lollipop and some oak.

T: The taste was actually pretty good. Pretty complex, with it's caramel component and it's rich, candy-coasted booze. The oak top the hops out of "Hoppy Monster" though.

M: Kinda boozy, but I didn't mind it. Splotchy lacing and tamped down sweetness.

O: Not bad, but I pretty the hops from it's little sister.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A- pours a very murky dark amber color with a small creamy light tan head, that reduces to just a small layer skimming the top

S- sweet caramel malt with some piney and herbal hop, a bit woodsy from the oak, alcohol at the end, smells like a barleywine

T- very sweet on the front end with caramel/toffee malt notes, herbal hop, and medicinal notes. The oak is barely noticeable but adds a bit of woodsy flavor, finish is sweet and heavy with an unexpected red-berry sweetness

M- thick & viscous body with low carbonation, creamy mouthfeel and syrupy finish, alcohol is pretty noticeable

O- this is one heavy beer, drinks like a barleywine, a slow sipper for sure as the booze is noticeable, interesting

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. "Vintage 2012"

Pours a deep brownish red color. Opaque, can't see through it with the haze. A skim light tan, off yellowish colored head that retains nicely. Spotty lace.

More malty than hoppy in the aroma which I did not expect based on the name. Molasses, brown sugar, caramalized malt, as it warms a bit of booziness comes out, very slight oak tannin, and some old stale hops. Not quite as complex as the taste.

Deep caramel malt, oaky tannins, brown sugar, molasses, light roasted grain, not really finding any hops, pretty much all malt. Very slight warming. Finishes with hints of woody pine hop bitterness. A nice sweetness overall.

Fairly heavy bodied, carbonation slightly creamy, good for the style. Rich malt sweetness. A slight bitterness lingers.

To me this is a barleywine or maybe even an old ale, and a pretty good one at that. But call it what you will, a good beer either way.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this one into a tulop glass, it has a reddish color body with a very small tan head to it. The smell has some vanilla coming through with some oak also, i really don't get much else from it. The taste has a big flavor of malt up front with some vanilla and oak to it. I also detect some hops on the back of the tongue. I think it is a very boozy, but has a good mouth feel to it. Overall i like this but i couldn't drink it on a normal basis.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this on 2013-03-17 in Columbia, PA

A - Opaque ruddy-brown with a 3/4-finger tan head that fades quickly with little lacing.

S - Apricot, caramel, sweet roasted malt, hint of hop floral. Pleasant.

T - Initially sweet. Lots of caramel and medium roasted grain followed quickly by some citrus, alcohol and piney bitterness. The oak aging helps cut the sweetness and adds a welcome dose of tannin and woody flavor but not much vanilla. It finishes with a nice tongue-challenging combination of caramel, citrus, roast and hop bitterness. I wasn't sure I liked the flavor on the first sip, but subsequent quaffs were better.

M - Heavy body and light carbonation. Sticky, thick, resinous yet dries reasonably at the end.

O - This brew grew on me as it warmed. I enjoyed sipping at it this afternoon and would have it again.

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Photo of brockdidntslide
3.19/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Boozy and uber malty. I wouldn't consider this oaky-dokey barleywine a red ale in my book. Terrapin needs to start over on this one. Nothing special. Tastes garden-variety with an alcohol kick. I wanted to like it more, especially considering the price for a four pack, but after a few days off, it still came up mediocre in my view/taste. In the real red ale category, Nugget Nectar kicks this beer's ass down the street and past the lamp post.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a DFH shaped pint glass. Vintage 2012, but I am not sure about the date.

A - Pours dark auburn with no clarity. Dark for the style. About a finger of almond head disappears pretty quickly. Tiered rings of lacing line the glass.

S - Caramel and toffee are prominent. The oak aging has contributed to the aroma considerably. Earthy peat and a vanilla extract character give this a really unique smell. There is some bittering pine as well, but the hops take a back seat to the huge malt profile in this one.

T - Starts with a nice roasty sweetness full of caramel, orange, and macadamia nut. Oak takes over from there along with nice bitter pine. There is some citrus lurking throughout. The very diverse flavors are impressive in this brew.

M - Carbonation is light and the body is medium-thick. Very smooth and drinkable.

O - I really enjoyed this beer. There is great balance between sweet/roasty malts and citrus/pine hops. The oak is noticeable on the palate, and works well with the other flavors. I enjoyed this slightly more than the original BHM, but I probably wouldn't pay $4/single for it again.

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Photo of BWED
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a tulip.

A- Hazy amber with rosy/red highlights. Bubbly head, tan, retains some, and has some specks of lacing.

S- Sweet malt, balances with a sharp earthy/piney/floral hop.

T- Some pine notes ride on a sweet malty backbone of slight caramel/biscuit.

M- Medium body with light carbonation. In your face with bitterness to begin, but then dies on the finish.

O- Surprisingly great balance for a a "hoppy" beer. Yes, the hop is intense, but the malt pushes right back into the picture. Smell and MF are worth another compliment, too. I didn't really notice much of the "oaked" character. Maybe the mellow taste and mouthfeel.

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Terrapin Oaked Big Hoppy Monster from Terrapin Beer Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 564 ratings.
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