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Lupulin Maximus Imperial IPA - O'so Brewing Company & Tap House

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Lupulin Maximus Imperial IPA
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very good

89 Reviews
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Reviews: 89
Hads: 298
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 22.94%
Wants: 35
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
O'so Brewing Company & Tap House visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cdkrenz on 11-24-2008

This brew is 9% and may contain a hop cone in every bottle (2009 & 2010 vintages) ! We want to make sure to repeat this reminder that we put a hop cone in the bottle. Always pour into a glass to release the essence from the bottle.

2008 Edition: 22-oz bottle
2009 Edition: 12-oz bottles w/hop cone in bottle
2010 - 2013 Editions: 12-oz bottles w/Hop Warning label
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 298
Photo of Sammy
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Big IBU yet still not a palate eraser. Fear and trepidation as I pour the bottle, examining for the pine cone. Liquid hop pellet level of IBU, very craftily malted down and therefore drinkable. Cloudy appearance. Fresh bottle from 20 West Wine and Spirits.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to burnheartsMKE for sending me this one.

Interesting concept off the bat with a whole hop cone floating around in the beer. Reminds me of the infamous and despised chili beer that has the same concept.

Pours a murky dark honey orange color with a 1/2 white head that fades to an oily cap. Thin legs of lacing form on the glass on the drink down. Smells strongly of citrus zest and pine. There are also some tropical fruit notes I am picking up. Taste is of citrus zest and pine tree hops with a sweet malt finish. Very little hop bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. Good carbonation makes for a smooth mouthfeel but there is a coating aspect to this beer. Perhaps it's because of the hop cone floating around in there for who knows how long? I also got a "leaf" in my mouth that broke off the cone that caused me a bit of a gag. There is also an acidic bite with each sip that I can only imagine is from the hops. Both of these elements are not too good in my book. Overall however, this beer is pretty good for what it is. Like I said before the whole hop cone in the beer is an interesting idea but I would have liked less residue and floating debris in my beer.

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Photo of emerge077
2.54/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Best by date: 12-9-12
Sadly this batch is a shell of its former self. No hop aroma, instead it smells very sweetly of caramel/pastry icing. Very solventy taste with oddly astringent off flavors. Something is very wrong here, and seemingly not intentional. I had a 4-pk. this a month or two ago and it seemed less hoppy than previously, but wasn't this bad.

Loved this beer when it first came out, but sadly will have to avoid it in the future.


12-01-2009 4.33/5
What the... ? There's a whole hop cone in the bottle... is this a hophead's answer to Cave Creek Chile Beer?

Different label, fairly sure this is the fresh 2009 batch.
edit: Approximate Release Date October 14th 2009

Pours into a Bells tulip a lovely dark reddish copper, very smooth, even surface of sticky foam. After a couple sips it leaves an impressive crown of lacing all around. In goes the cone *plupe*

Huge tropical fruit nose, juicyfruit gum, mango, tangerine, cantaloupe, starfruit. Whoo! On par with Hopslam and Dreadnaught based on the aroma alone.

Catty, resiny hop flavor, some residual pale malt, but basically a hop delivery vehicle. Sweet and tropical with some traces of cantaloupe. Fairly soft feeling and mellow, despite the solid residual bitterness. Alcohol is slightly apparent in the taste, but overall its a minor issue. Supple slick feel that dries out in the end, leaving a leafy green hop bine impression in the aftertaste. I could put back a couple of these... Wish I had more than a single 12 oz. dammit.

Edit: Seems to be issues with inconsistency... unless known to be fresh, I won't take a chance on old bottles after getting burned a couple times.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a snifter at Firkin.

I'm thinking about making a stop-motion sword-and-sandal epic using only hop cones... Anyway, this stuff pours a hazy russet-amber topped by over a finger of cream foam. The nose comprises leek, cilantro, caramel, and light pine resin. The taste holds notes of pine resin, light cilantro, toffee, light grapefruit peel, very light orange peel, and honey. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a generally solid DIPA, though the herbaceous scent (to put it lightly) really keeps things from taking off for me.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

O'so Brewing Lupulin Maximus. Imperial Pale Ale. Warning: May Contain Hop Cone.

Cute gimmick. Town Hall does it every year with the Fresh Hop growlers. One problem, though. There's an initial difficulty in pouring, as the cone stops up the bottleneck. It comes loose and dives into the glass, eventually. And there's the matter of it bobbing it up against your lips as you drink. So, just take it out already.

Lovely, hazed orange-ish amber-y coloration, small white head.

Pungent aroma of pine needles, and tropical fruit, some citrus. A little lemon and grapefruit. Bold, hoppy nose.

Tasting it: Vibrant, hoppy flavors jump on the palate, and run amok. Great big bitterness spills all over the mouth. Juicy fruitiness takes charge. Bitterness never ceases. Long, hoppy finish. Fades after a bit, but remains delightful all the way down.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to emerge077 for grabbing a bottle of this in Wisconsin for me. Apparently I missed it at Discount Liquor. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip glass.

A - The hop gets stuck in the neck and acts as a sort of impromptu Randall. Pours with a finger of off-white foam that settles to a thick collar and partial cap, with some patchy lace left behind. The body is a hazed orange-brown collar.

S - The smell reminds me a little of Flossmoor IPAs after a few weeks - fairly malt-forward with a sweet, almost buttered biscuit, character. Jaggery, perhaps? There is a good deal of hoppy tropical fruits, and a bit of dankness and Parmesan character that I get from Columbus hops.

T - The taste, on the other hand, is more herbaceous and leafy. The hop character lies over top of a burnt sugar malt backbone that has a slightly odd oxidized character to it. Some moderate residual bitterness.

M - Smooth medium body, medium-low carbonation. The residual hop resins seem more slimy than oily - perhaps that is due to the hop in the bottle?

D - This was a relatively average DIPA. I was able to drink my pour with relative ease. Based on the reviews it sounds as if the 2009 batch was significantly better. I'd be willing to revisit this if a new batch came out. The hop in the bottle seems like a big gimmick though.

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Photo of jwc215
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours murky golden amber with a thick, foamy head. Lacing sticks. Two hop cones float it in. The floating, soggy hop cones detract from the appearance, in my opinion.

The smell is of pine and caramel. Robust.

The taste is piney, spicy, citric. Caramel backing balances it. Some alcohol shows in the potent finish.

On the thin side for an imperial, but it holds together well enough for a long, hoppy finish.

Overall, a good Imperial IPA.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark looking murky auburn body. Deeper color than most DIPAs. Thick and creamy nicotine stained head with a hop cone floating around in it. Nicely done. Big, fresh bouquet of hop flowers and bitter hop resin. First sip brings waves of flavor. From the onset, you can tell this is high quality. Full body and lightly carbonated. Balanced very nicely for a DIPA. This one borders on Barleywine territory and that is high praise in this instance. It's very easy drinking and full of flavor. Caramel malt base with a nice reserved piney and slightly citric hop presence. The bitterness is quite refined. This is a good one. Seek it.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah another one of the fabled mysterious beer reviews that just disappears down the road. Has a hop cone in the bottle! Pours a copper color, small head on it, white. I'm gonna give it extra points in the appearance category because it is so unique with that hop cone!

Aroma, bitter hops, not really lending itself to anything pine, tropical, I guess citrus, its kind of that generic grapefruit kind of bitter aroma.

Taste, solid, hides alcohol well, even though it does have a warming effect on the belly. Caramel not overdone, enough from making the beer a unbalanced bitter beer that isn't enjoyable. Plenty of hop oil in this one. Good sweet malt undertones. Resin, syrup like at times, but not in a negative way, in a substantial beer way. Cool, novel beer here.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, scooped a 4pack and this is the last bottle

appearance: goofy o'so label - each bottle complete with 2 hop cones inside, pours into a nonic pint - both cones come racing out - dark copper-amber body, pillowy white head with wavy retention

smell: lots of hops - pineapple, tropical fruit, lots of citrus. punches you right in the nose - really nice

taste: i really like this - smooth with very low bitterness, pungent red grapefruit, touch of pine, small amount of misplaced alcohol. pineapple, sugar, tropical fruit

mouthfeel: medium, low bitterness

drinkability: good

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Photo of barnzy78
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, pours a hazy, rusty-tangerine color with a frothy, off-white head that holds good retention, and leaves nice, thick lacing on the glass. Aromas are fresh pine & citric hops, earthy, sweet bread; caramel malt noticeable on the nose as well. Huge bready malt backbone with loads of caramel, followed by fresh, dank, piny hops with pungent grapefruit pith. Super creamy, maybe a little too full, but the creaminess is nice. Finishes bitter with lingering pine. Overall, it's a nice unique DIPA. Not sure that I'd get it again, but I did enjoy it.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of FrankenBrew, review from notes. Pours a hazed copper color with a speckled white head. This particular bottle contained 2 hop cones, pretty cool idea if you ask me.

Nose is tropical and gummy with some biscuity and toffee malts.

Taste has a nice range of bittering to flavoring hops. Sweet and tropical flavors come out as it warms a bit. Decent amount of malt backing, but is overall pretty light contributor to the overall flavor. Caramel and toast are kept pretty low. Mouthfeel is fine, neither hurts or helps the brew. Interesting IPA, glad I got to try it.

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Photo of ZAP
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Orange colored

S-Very unique...almost like a pinneaple upside down cake...I get a lot of tropical fruits and a white cake batter element....mix em together and I get the pinneaple upside down cake..very fruity aroma with papaya, and pinneaple most prominent..outstanding

T-Very flavorful use of hops...next to zero bitterness at first...just a lot of juicy fruit flavors...then on the finish a nice dose of drying bitterness invades....

M-A little thin for a DIPA but it has a muddied feel like a DIPA....medium bodied and too light bodied for the style

D-Wow. I know my Wisconsin beers but this brewery is new to me. I like what I am tasting so far. Will have to investigate further. This is not an all-time great but it is very good and definitely one I would buy again.

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Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to StayWhatYouAre2 for sharing this one at his own pre-marriage tasting! Thanks Alex! Served from bottle into a Boulevard tulip. Poured yellow-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, fruit, and floral. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, and fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. While this one wasn’t overly complex all of the different components going on here were in great proportions and all worked really well together. I honestly went into this one blind and was quite intrigued with what I found. The fruit and floral aspect going on here definitely carried this brew into an upper tier of the style. A definite must try.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: murky amber bodied beer with a thin white cap. This beer actually has 3 whole hop cones that are floating in the beer! This is awesome!

Smell: syrupy sweet and concentrated oily hoppiness. This smell like hop syrup if there is such a thing. Really leafy hops and almost a mustiness.

Taste: Big malts caramel, toffee, and fruity notes. This is really not all that bitter compaired to what I was thinking this might be. Citrusy hops and tropical fruits. Slightly resinous as well. It resembles an aged american barleywine.

Mouthfeel: medium full bodied beer with low carbonation. Its needing some carbonation and its got a syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall: I am going to call this a novelity beer because I really dont know of another beer thats actually bottled with whole hop cones inside the bottle! Its a really cool idea that Oso's has got here. Oso's did just what they promised on the bottle label...there is a side note that says: warning whole hop cones in this beer. I was expecting the beer to be more hoppy, but that okay it was still a decent beer.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.41/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to Alex for pulling this oddity out.

A - There's a hop cone in here, and they warn you that it "may" be in there on the bottle. It's an orangish, brownish color, with some distinct, thick, and pronounced lacing. Kind of a nice look, not super intricate, but noticable. Few hop leaves fell into my glass.

S - Tropical fruits, although somewhat strange, pine and citrus are there, but not super citrusy. Sweeter smelling IPA.

T - I don't really like this, taste of strange butter, almost tropical fruits, and sugar that's more sweet, but somehow not sugary sweet. With the amount of sweetness in it, I was expecting some burn from the alcohol, but that was thankfully not present. Still, this tastes bizzare and not good.

M - Medium bodied, a little jammy, moderate carbonation.

D - This beer doesn't taste repulsive, but somehow I couldn't bring myself to get through more than about 1/2 my glass. I just flat out didn't like the taste. Would not drink this again.

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Photo of gford217
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

Pours a deep, hazy amber with a small beige head that recedes to a thin collar.

Aroma is sweeter than I was expecting with candied apples, caramel malts and light fruits - peaches come to mind. There isn't a lot of citrus or pine that I get in the nose.

Taste has a bit more citrus with some oranges up front, but the caramelized sugar and sweet malts are still a big player and the finish is sweet with hints of pine but mostly a lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but low on carbonation and comes across a little syrupy with the heavy sweetness dominating the palate.

In case you hadn't noticed, this is a very sweet DIPA, very light on the hops. It's not bad but it's not one of my favorites.

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Photo of jera1350
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out of a 12 oz. bottle with whole hop cone inside a deep dark orange body with a dense cap of creamy tan foam that is sticky as hell and clings in globs to the glass.

Juicy and citrusy hop nose with a touch of pineapple, alcohol and malt sweetness behind. Very fresh hop like scent.

A balanced attack of hops and sweet malt with notes of honey, agave and caramel. The hops deliver a moderate bitterness with tropical and citrus fruits, some pine and earthiness also. Warm alcohol rears its head mildly at the end.

Full body, lower carbonation that is very soft. Alcohol warmness trickles down the chest cavity following consumption. Sticky/resiny feel on the palate.

Really digging this beer. A really great take on a DIPA. This is one that I will certainly grab again.

EDIT: Had a second bottle from the same four pack and it was noticeably less hoppy and the malt was a bit of a muddled mess. Nothing like the one that I reviewed above.

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Photo of cokes
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Most of these bottles contain one or more hop cones (I've had as many as 4 in the 4 or so 4packs I've consumed). This is my first bottle without one, and I figure it's the best one to review. Though it is fucking cool to have a couple hop cones floating in the glass as you drink.

Lightly hazy apricot bronze with a low-slung beige head with moderate retention and lacing.
The hop assault is fruity, full of tangerine, grapefruit, mango, and papaya. And a touch of herbal/piney bitterness. The backing malt is honey sweet, heavy fruit syrup. I have a soft spot for a fruit cocktail DIPA like this, and it bears some similarity to Hopslam, at least in the nose.
It brings that heavy fruit syrup into the mouth right away. Apple notes. Cider-y sweetness. A bit of toasted grain, then more sweetness via honey. Hops bring their tropical punch. Mango. Grapefruit. Peach. Pineapple. A little pine needle earthiness. There are bushels of hop flavor, but it veers sweet the whole way.
It's full-ish bodied, and the carbonation is stunted, but it persists, keeping things moving the whole duration. This veers sweet, so that's considerably important. It's never stagnant or clingy.
Yeah, it's too sweet. But I'm a sucker for stuff like this. Though I can't help but to think what a somewhat more abrasive, bitter hop counterpunch would do to compliment/counteract all the fruitiness.

And yeah, it's a gimmick, but drink it with the cones in. And eat 'em if you want, if it's too sweet for you.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. No bottling date. Poured into an O'so snifter 11/10/2014. And yes, there is an actual hop cone in the bottle..

A- Murky, hazy mud-brown-copper body, one finger offwhite head, good retention- drops into a thick collar, some lacing. The muddy nature of the beer kind of throws me off here. And the hop cone... yeah. [3.25]

S- Sweet toffee, a bit of grapefruit, lots of resinous pine. Certainly nothing complicated, but it smells fairly sweet. [3.25]

F- Toffee, pine, caramel, a bit of grapefruit. One of the more slick, resinous IPAs I've had. That's about it. [3.5]

M- Medium bodied, resinous, sticky with a piney, herbal finish that has a bit of an alcohol burn to it. [3.5]

O- Decent DIPA, nothing too surprising or tasty aside from the hop cone. Malt heavy, pine heavy. The hop cone is kind of a novelty, but perhaps it adds a bit to the resin-forward nature of the beer. [3.5]

Final score: 3.44

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 1/10/2010. 12 oz. bottle thanks to Skyview. Pours a dark mahogany brown with a small white head and, of course, the hopcone. Aroma of citrus, grassy, and fruity hops, some spruce too. Flavor of hop spices, woodsy spices, and citrus. Very earthy and a nice hop profile. Good IIPA.

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Photo of Florida9
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a quite cloudy yellow orange in color, with some sediment falling to the bottom of the glass. Forms a thin white head. Leaves minimal lacing. No hop cone.

S: Strong aroma of citrus; orange with some light floral notes. Mild scent of sweet perfume.

T: A sweet malt base with the hoppy flavors of citrus and orange. Mild to moderate bitterness on the finish.

M: Medium in body with appropriate carbonation.

O: A solid DIPA. While not heavily hopped, it is still more of the hop forward variation, though I did find it a bit sweet for my tastes.

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Photo of buschbeer
1.99/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 1.75

12 FL OZ bottle
Served in a tulip glass

A - It is a peach/amber color with golden highlights. It is capped with a couple inches of off-white head. The bottle contained a hop cone. I guess that is better than a serrano pepper. I'm looking at you Cave Creek Chili beer.

S - It has a sweet birthday cake-like smell. When I poured it I got some grapefruit, but the smell is a lot sweeter in the glass.

T - The initial taste is sweet. Then the bitterness kicks in at the end. The bitterness is intense enough to wipe out any trace of the sweetness up front. It leaves a lingering, bitter aftertaste.

M - Moderate

O - I do not like the sweet smell or taste up front. Thank goodness for the bitter aftertaste to help me forget the sweetness.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: cloudy rust orange, finger khaki head,
awesome lacing!

S: huge lemon zest/peel, grapefruit, pine, hint of grassy
sweet candy malt

T: lemon peel, candy sweet malt, long oily bitter
fresh pine finish

M: heavy/med mouth, big oily/sticky feel

O: WOW! Truly a hop lovers dream, they
even throw in a whole cone hop to the bottle.
O'so is underrated and this is a mighty
triumph for the brewery.


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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, no bottled on date present, but I'm pretty sure it's as fresh as can be.

A - Beautiful cloudy orange color, with a short thick and foamy white head, that disappears quickly. That hop cone plopped itself into the glass, and it just makes it look even more gorgeous.

S - Smells amazing. Irresponsibly hoppy, which is just what I want out of a double IPA.

T - Fresh, juicy, citrus hops. Extremely potent fresh grapefruit taste, this IPA is so fresh and hoppy you'd think someone had just whipped it up in the kitchen for you. A friend of mine tried eating the hop cone, and he said it tasted like a crumpled up receipt. Needless to say, I didn't try the hop cone.

M - Extra dry, bitter finish. Lovely, everything one could expect from an IPA. And the presence of the hop cone definitely helps to make it a novelty experience as well.

Overall, this was my delicious first introduction to O'so Brewing, and I'm looking forward to trying more.

O'so Brewing Lupulin Maximus Imperial IPA ---4.5/5

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Lupulin Maximus Imperial IPA from O'so Brewing Company & Tap House
87 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.