I had the original version of this about two years ago. When I had it (Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster), I really, really enjoyed it. I heard that they were going to be releasing an oak-aged version and I had to find it. I was hoping that it would knock the regular version out of the park. Let’s see how it fared.
Style: American Amber/Red Ale
Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The original Monster better than ever…. Oaked Big Hoppy Monster Imperial Red Ale pours a luscious garnet color. Expect this brew to lead with big American-style hop aroma, quickly complemented by a monstrous malt backbone rounded with rich oaky notes and hints of vanilla. A bit of alcohol warmth and a multitude of malty goodness, with just a snarl of hop bitterness, awaits at the finish. This enormous beer will go down smooth… but watch out; this Monster bites!”
Random: I still think that Terrapin has some of the best labels in beer.
This one poured with a half finger of off white head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass, but left a slight crown on top of the body. The body was a cloudy, dark chestnut color with light carbonation visible. The nose had some burnt oak with vanilla and tobacco. The hop bitterness that was there was completely overwhelmed by the oak. The taste was an utter disappointment. Everything I liked about the original wasn’t here. There was a hint of hoppiness, but this was like chewing on an oak barrel. It was smoky with vanilla but not enough hoppiness. The body was on the thicker side with light carbonation. Booze was present at the end of the sip, but nothing like I would expect from a 9% brew. The finish was long and obviously oaked. Obviously, I wouldn’t rush to have this again. They really need to play with the balance of this and tone down the wood.
Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0 (Not quite sure why I rated this so high on Untappd).