Steph’s New Brew Review: Oaked Big Hoppy Monster

Steph’s New Brew Review: Oaked Big Hoppy Monster

Terrapin Beer Co. 2013 Oaked Big Hoppy Monster, a 10.6% ABV Oak Aged Imperial Red Ale

Terrapin Beer Company was founded by Spike Buckowski and John Cochran while brewing together in Atlanta with the goal of creating beers unlike any that were available in the southeast.

Their first beer was the Rye Pale Ale, brewed in April of 2002, and it won the American Pale Ale Gold Medal at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival. Today, Terrapin brews in a 40,000 square foot brewing facility and 100 BBL brewhouse in Athens, Georgia.

Big Hoppy Monster was originally brewed in 2004 to celebrate the lifting of the alcohol restrictions in Georgia. The Imperial Red Ale is brewed with liberal amounts of Crystal malts and dry-hopped with Simcoe. In 2012, the entire batch was oak aged, adding another layer of complexity. Enter Oaked Big Hoppy Monster Imperial Red Ale, “the original Monster better than ever.”

Oaked Big Hoppy Monster is part of Terrapin’s Monster Beer Tour along with Hopzilla, Monk’s Revenge, and the popular Wake ‘N’ Bake. This fall seasonal pours a luscious garnet color.  A big American-style hop aroma from the Centennial, Cascade, Bravo, Amarillo, and Simcoe hops is complemented by a monstrous malt backbone from 2 Row Pale, Caramunich, Crystal 77, Amber, and Crystal 45 malts. Rich oaky notes and hints of vanilla come through, adding a level of complexity. The beer finishes with a subtle alcohol warmth, malty goodness, and just enough hop bitterness.  This enormous beer will go down smooth, but watch out; this Monster bites!


Reddish brown with an off-white head.


Caramelly malt goodness with subtle hop aroma. Hints of oak and vanilla. Boozy.


Roasted malts, dark fruits, oak, sweet caramel, slight hop bitterness with hints of vanilla.


Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.


This beer is unique for sure, though I think it should be called Big “Malty” Monster. The oak and vanilla notes add a layer of complexity, and the sweetness is welcomed, not overwhelming. Watch out… this goes down waaaaaay too easy for 10.6%!

Wanna pick this one up? Click here to see where Terrapin beers are available.
Check out… this video from Terrapin about their Hop Harvest Festival.

If you have a beer you think we should review, let us know!
And as always, toast our check-in on Untappd, and let us know what YOU think!

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