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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

282 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 282
Reviews: 87
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 13.4%
Wants: 35
Gots: 20 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 282 | Reviews: 87 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of adman08
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy, unfiltered golden with a nice head that dissipates quickly but a good amount of bubbles.
S-This surprised me, almost no hop aroma, for a beer with a hop cone in the bottle I expected a better hop aroma.
T-I really enjoy the strong malt presence, I prefer an IIPA with lots of body. Very nice citrus hop flavor. I think it could be more balanced with either less malt or more hops.
M-Pretty typical for a big malty IIPA. Slightly sweeter than most.
Overall, I have always really liked this beer. When they first made it even my hop head buddy couldn't handle it, it was like drinking liquid hops and completely overpowering. Now it's nice a malty with good citrus hop flavor. Very drinkable for an unfiltered, 9%abv IIPA. I'll buy this beer every year when it comes out.

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

A - Pours a cloudy opaque brown in color topped by a thin off-white head. I had one hop cone in this bottle. By the way...I think packing a hop cone (or more than one) in each bottle is really pretty cool...and it must take forever to have to hand pack all of these hops! The brew had some dark chunky sediment, likely a by-product of the hops packaged in the bottle.

S - A very sweet hoppy aroma fills my nostrils as I draw in the beautiful bouquet of this brew. The hop aromas take on a very pineapple like scent. I've had this dessert before...that cake that has a layer of pineapples lining one side of it. It smells exactly like that pineapple cake!

T & M - Oooh, this is a sweet hoppy mutha! Citric hops (with that same pineapple flavor I smelled) play nicely with a heavy sweet malt base. This is very much on the sweet end of the IIPA scale, but it comes across very nicely. There also seems to be an earthy component in there just to add a bit of complexity. Medium bodied, finishes with a bit of an earthy hop aftertaste. The 9% ABV is actually pretty well hidden.

D - A tasty treat that any hop aficionado will surely appreciate. Love the hops packed in the bottle and I hope they never stop doing that, even though it's likely labor intensive. Very nicely done O'so!!

Photo of cokes
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of dirtylou
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
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

Photo of DNICE555
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Split with R Moe Nay.

Looks like sparkling cider. A Nice hope cone in there! Never seen this before. Was hoping it would impart a nice fresh hop flavor.

Smells pretty good.

Tastes like apple juice. Too much sweetness and not enough hoppy goodness for me.

Feels pretty think and astringent.

Pretty easy to drink. Unique experience with the hop cone. Glad I got to try this one.

Photo of kbnooshay
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

looks like apple juice. no head. no lacing.

Theres a hop in there! Kind of surprised ive never seen this gimmick in a beer before. You'd have to think it would impart some fresh hope flavor.

Aroma is hoppy. taste is cloyingly sweet. it almost tastes like brown sugar. feel is kinda tingly from the carbonation. this is almost there but its missing something. feel is a tad thin but not bad. pretty drinkable.

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.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of AgentZero
2.35/5  rDev -39.4%
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.

Photo of seeswo
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Holy Crap! This beer has the best warning label of all time!

...and they are not kidding...this beer pours through a hop cone. Check the top of your beer for a little leaf making its way though into your beer.

That all being settled, Lupulin Maximus is a IIPA with a hand-packed hop cone in each bottle. Probably around 9% ABV, it pours a golden brown with hops and sweetness on the nose. ...and, it's really good. Slightly citrus in its hop flavor, it kind of reminds me of a sweetened, 9% furious. It's not that sticky, piny hop, west coast, big IPA flavor. This beer might not be good at all in 3 weeks. Go and get it now. Delish.

BTW, I've had one since I wrote this review and it has fallen off quickly. Shoulda had it fresh, I guess.

Photo of kk73
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my glass. Thanks to Wisconsinality for this one.

A - Pours a very hazy honey carmel with some slight orange hues, looks the color of brown sugar. A nice head slightly less than a finger, disappears into a white ring around the glass. The hop cones added an interesting touch and is something I never have seen or experienced before.

S - Upon first opening the bottle I got a burst of pine, and lots of it. Some citrus and grassy notes. After pouring into the glass I get some grapefruit and lots of sweet malt.

T - The taste is interesting, starts with some muted pine and grapefruit, and moves into a big sweet malt backbone. The sweet malt makes the beer smooth. Almost not bitter at all, and barely any alcohol detected. What to do with the hop cone?

M - Mouthfeel is a light to medium with light carbonation. Beer is smooth and creamy, with no stickiness.

D - This is a good beer imo. Could dial up the bitterness a bit as the beer is a little to sweet and malty. The hop cone in the beer is nice and imo added to the aroma as I got a very nice burst of piney/citrus hops. The beer just didnt have enough hop bite. Alcohol barely noticeable for it high abv and highly drinkable.

Photo of SiphonKing
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Interesting is the best way of describing this beer. first off, the beer has a whole hop cone in the bottle. This is a blessing and a curse because it's easy to decant this delicious devil resulting in a chewy experience. If you age this beer a little (not too long, it is an IPA remember?) then you get the nuances from the hop cone.
The hops from this beer have a spicey, floral, piney aroma (Columbus?). A nice kick from the hops, very spicey. A drinkable beer that is unique in presentation and is definitely worth checking out. It comes in four packs but is a MI original.

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip. In my mad rush to try and locate Vanilla BCS, I overlooked this recently released beauty. Thankfully, a few beers with milwaukeeclassic at Ale Asylum tonight yielded a bottle from his recent purchase. Duane, you are the king of kings!

Amber bleeds orange when held to the light. A thin trickle of frost covers the surface along with two dank sticky hops that float like juicy, bitter, resinous life preservers on the shore of some hoppy lake where we'd all linger given the chance. Gimmicky? Perhaps. Inviting? Damn straight.

Juicy, sticky, sweet bubblegum hops on the nose along with a boatload of brown sugar. Sweetness rides hard against the hops and wins the battle. Wish the hops put up more of a fight on the nose.

Hmm... how to describe this Frankenstein? In theory, a bad ass brew. In execution, a bit of the aforementioned jigsaw of a creature. Monstrous malt base with a nearly overwhelming base of sugar. Fresh from a dental visit, this beer threatens cavities all by itself. Hops present mostly bitter pine and are pummeled down at the finish by the wave of sugary malt sweetness. Seems like the kitchen sink was thrown at this recipe, when some refinement and tweaking would better suit the purpose.

Thick and chewy, this beer drinks like a meal..or more appropriately a dessert. Carbonation is somewhat sluggish.

My excitement was high at the start and became tempered rather quickly. There's possibility here,but in its current incantation this beer remains more pretender than contender. The 2010 Chicago Bears in a glass.

Photo of Wisconsin
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle shared with my friend during his birthday.

A - Poured a hazy yellow body that gave off a solid finger and a half head that slowly receded. Carbonation and plenty of it is visibly racing to the top of this beer. As others have mentioned, the hop cone was present in this bottle as well and sat buried under the fluffy white head. Very impressive.

S - Hops, what else? Aside from the obvious there was a nice citrus zest that was strongly present along with the hop smell. A deeper whiff brought about a slight pinch of vanilla that seemed to be an interesting twist.

T - The taste was more subdued that i was expecting. Big hop flavor which is great along with a good citrus zest, but the flavors aren't as full as I would have hoped. Caramel malts are present along with a slight bitterness.

M - Medium bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation. Entering the mouth there is plenty of hops that don't seem too bitter because of the citrus zest that accompanies the hops. Carbonation arrives and provides a clean palate to work with as the hops continue and the caramel malts arrive. The finish is slightly bitter but nothing too terrible.

D - This a pretty solid IIPA, but there are few things that could be improved. I would like to see how this beer would taste after some extended cellar time, but I will have to wait until I can get my hands on another bottle next year. A very nice offering from O'so though.

Photo of billyzoom666
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It pours a beautiful caramel color with sediments floating. Light carbonation, but those sediments go up and down throughout the drink and the lacing on this thing is great. I had a hard time getting past the smell on this beer. It has an almost stagnant hop smell to it with a definite booze scent underneath. Pretty bad. This is really, really sweet for something I thought would be overly hoppy. It's not hoppy enough for my liking to offset the malt. The taste is somewhat redeemed by the mouthfeel. Really creamy mouthfeel, which seems to be a trademark of the O'so beers. There's a sticky feeling across my lips, a nice remembrance of the hops. The drinkability on this is pretty low, three of these might kill you. Not O'so's best, but it could definitely be worse.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my duvel tulip the beer is a muddy brown with orange highlights. The light tan head reaches two fingers before settling to leave spotty lace.

The aroma is pure hop goodness. Citruis fruits like grapefruit and oranges shine through. Hints of malt can be picked out as well.

The flavor is not a hoppy as I was expecting. It's got some pine and grapefruit hints but the malt and booze seem to shove their way onto my taste buds. It taste more like a barley wine then a DIPA not that that's a bad thing.

Medium body rather creamy. Dry finish.

Overall a nice beer. The hop cone in the bottle is a bit much but I get the joke. A balaced easy drinker.

Photo of CheeseTurds
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Mmmm...O'so. A brewery I didn't even know about until a year ago has really impressed me with a solid lineup and a few exceptional beers. I think this one may be my favorite of theirs.

Poured the bottled directly into a pint glass. It's got a nice reddish color with a bit of haze swirling around. I think that may be residue from the hop cone.

A fruity smell rises and hangs around.

This beer is sweet and malty. There is good head retention while not having a lot of carbonation in the beer itself. It's pretty easy to imagine what this beer would be like on cask. I wonder if O'so has ever done casks of this. It would be great.

The drinkability of this beer is high. Easy going down, great taste, pleasant aftertaste, and an inconspicuous 9% ABV. This beer has some great qualities while not being an "extreme" beer in any way.

Everyone else has noted the inclusion of a whole hop cone in the bottle. My hop palate isn't fine tuned enough to know what the hop flower has added to the beer. I'd like to try the bottle side-by-side with a draft version to see if there's a notable difference.

Photo of darklordlager
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a vibrant chestnut ruby, with a good 1.5" light tan head that promises some retention. The hop cone restricted the flow while pouring it into the glass, which made it take quite a bit longer than usual. Very nice touch though. Nice lacing as it moves down the glass.

S: Layered caramel and pale malt, dark fruit, sweet citrus--reminscient of a Dole fruit cup, pineapple, peach, and orange.

T: Waves of sugary sweet malt wash upon thee--too much sweetness, and lacking depth. The dry hopped flavour is dwarfed by the sweetness in this one. Malt extract, table sugar. Hop bitterness comes in at the end, but there is still an almost overwhelming sweetness to it. Grapefruit is there in the front going head to head with the sweet malt (and bowing to the sweetness).

M: Low carbonation and a slightly syrupy mouthfeel.

D: This one is far too sweet and lacking depth to be considered a good double IPA IMHO. Crank up the bitterness and dry it out, and perhaps this beer would be something to rave about.

Photo of Wisconsinality
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip.

A- Pours a nice dark amber color that has just a little bit of haze to it. Barely transparent with a nice finger's worth of head that recedes nicely and leaves good lacing on the side of the glass. The hop cone in the bottle is a nice little touch.

S- A strong smell of grapefruit and pine with a sweet malty finish. Also some of the alcohol peaks through just a tad. I poured the hop cone in with the beer to catch a nice whiff with it in.

T- The taste is a little more toned down than the nose. The sweetness of the malt is pretty apparent. As the beer warms, the more piney the beer gets but still no where near some DIPA's.

M- The mouthfeel is just a tad bit thin but pretty nice overall. There is hardly any bitterness from this one which is kind of surprising. The alcohol warms the throat on the way down.

D- For being a high ABV, it isn't even noticeable. Pretty smooth and this one doesn't kill the palate allowing for more than one to be consumed but I won't have more than two. The hop cone in the bottle is a nice touch.

Photo of mikereaser
2.9/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle on 12/13/09

A - Pours a hazy chestnut brown with just a layer of foam, the hop nugget was an unexpected kerplunk into the glass

S - strong aroma of cherries and sweet malt

T - definitely cherry taste, malty backbone with a nice bitter finish

M - smooth, creamy, slightly flat but not bad

D - flavor is a bit weird, not what i was expecting, so I probably won't seek this one out again

Photo of mandoskippy
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got the last two four packs at JR liquor in Stevens Point tonight. I have been reading about this beer and needed to try it. The color is a dark amber with hop cone in it. The hop cone is a nice touch and was even small enough to emerge from the bottle into the glass. Nice. There was a three finger head that slowly receeded to a cap on the beer. Lots of lacing as well.

The smell was good, very descriptive of the taste which was very good. A little sweet but not as syrupy as some DIPAs. I liked that. The mouthfeel was great with a little alcohol burn. I the drinkability was also good, however, I feel like this could get me hammered! All in all a great beer.

Photo of ZAP
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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.

Photo of beergurujr
4.63/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle poured into a standard duvel tulip glass. temp about 55F.


A- pours nicely with good but small head. there's those hop cones- two of 'em. brussels lacing, quite nice.

B- soft hop and malt. very nice balance, nothing too over the top one way or another.

T- great balance between bitter and sweet; full body lets you know this is a strong beer. one of the finest balanced beers out there at this time, considering it's 9% ABV.

F- malt gives way to hops. not harsh however; reminds me a bit of popering's hommel ale from belgium, but bigger.

O- this is a really fine beer. o'so has found it's voice in this ale.

Lupulin Maximus Imperial IPA from O'so Brewing Company & Tap House
87 out of 100 based on 282 ratings.