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El Lupulo Libre | The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works

24 Reviews
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El Lupulo LibreEl Lupulo Libre

Brewed by:
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
Ohio, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by siege06nd on 03-18-2014

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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 216
Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours slightly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big grapefruit, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, strawberry, lemon zest, orange peel, light pine, honey, light caramel, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome complexity and balance of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, strawberry, lemon zest, orange peel, light pine, honey, light caramel, toasted bread, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Light-medium pine/grassy/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, pineapple, peach, apricot, passion fruit, mango, melon, strawberry, lemon/orange peel, pine, honey, toasted bread, and herbal/floral/grassy hop earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero astringent hop flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitterness, that increases through the glass. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately sticky/resinous, and fairly creamy/bready balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic DIPA. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical hops and moderate bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite tasty. Everything a big tropical DIPA needs to be. It's not my favorite Ohio DIPA but it's definitely worth drinking. It's just difficult to come by for some reason.

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Photo of glass_house
4.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep clear amber with two fingers of fluffy, khaki head. Smells primarily of sweet tropical fruit--melon, pineapple, mango and peach. But there is enough pine resin in the background to make it clear this is indeed a bitter DIPA.

Taste starts with the pine and mild bitter citrus up front. The tropical notes add a sweet fruity backbone that lends a consistent balance without ever feeling artificial or syrupy. Very natural, cohesive sweet notes of pineapple, mango, peach and strawberry. Medium bodied and slightly sticky. The fruit creates a pleasant juicy finish.

If you like tropical IPA's, this is about as good as they come. I cannot stress enough how impressively balanced the hop bitterness and sweetness are.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brilliant copper in color with a small head on top.

Dang, pungent hoppy smells reminiscent of peaches, apricots, a touch of pine, a touch of onion... It's a big smeller.

The flavor is big and dense. Stone fruits and citrus fruits dominate the flavor. It also has an herbal note and a strong malt backbone. Some alcohol warmth is apparent.

A very good beer that I would definitely try again.

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Photo of beerwolf72
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle (!) into a goblet an amber hue with over a half inch of off-white foam. The foam dissipated quickly into a thin coating of bubbles. First taste is dank-ness and tropical fruit, very well-balanced malt tempered with strong hop undertones. Mouthfeel is not too thick, but very satisfying. Had to restrain myself in order to not just guzzle it and crack another one. As good or better than any Imperial IPA I've had.

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Photo of Sabtos
2.93/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3




Those are the exact aroma's that hit me when I first smelled this beer, and that's close to how it comes through on the palate as well.

Lupulo is pretty dry, almost tongue swelling, not quite a hop heavy thrasher, just overwhelmingly overpowering and a little unusual.

I've had this a few times since my initial review, and I've found it is increasingly boozy and spicy, in a hoppy way.

It's darker orange-ish brown than Juju, and there are some sweeter almost Belgian-esque notes on the nose as well. However, flame licked pine sap is the major contributing factor on both the nose and tongue.

Moderation in everything. Restraint is key. Some people revere this beer. White Rajah. All for One. They eclipse this in every category.

People, stop worshiping at the alter of MORE!!

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Photo of exposd
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Probably the best double IPA I've ever had. If you like White Rajah by Brew Kettle, then you've got to give this imperial version a try. So drinkable and goes down smooth! Great aroma, beautiful head and lacing, as well as a really balanced flavor that has great flavor but also smacks you in the face with hops and fruit flavored like grapefruit, pineapple, and orange. Usually this beer is only on tap at the Brew Kettle Taproom in Northern Ohio. You don't see this brew come around very often, but I won't pass it up ever again if I see it available.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a medium Amber color with an orangy tint. Aroma is huge floral citrus and pine. Flavor is bright and piny. You get notes of citrus and a slight sweetness. Has a slightly crisp finish. Leaves a nice citrusy hoppy aftertaste. This is delicious.

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Photo of Zac_Knoll
4.61/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Look: Deep and amber, for boarding. Not giving any hint to the hop as sult soon to be released on your nose and tongue.

Smell: Floral, spicy, slight citrus and pine

Taste: Wow, astringent acidic unabashed hop forward goodness. Extreme bitterness with an assertive spicy finish.

Feel: Much lighter and airer than expected well balanced and smooth... a slight oily texture.

Overall: one of my favorite beers brewed in what is in my opinion the best IPA state in the union! Cheers!

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Photo of Weisenbeer
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Growler fill. Very nice. Heavy (but not too much so) tasty, complex, and very drinkable. Our man at The Growler Stop here in Cincinnati recommended. Well done Growler Stop, well done.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - dark copper with a good tan head that went away fairly quick with good lacing
Smell - very fruity citrus. Maybe pineapple mango with a squirt of citrus. Slight pine.
Taste - bitter citrus first with an after taste of the mango pineapple with slight ryr spice and slight malt. Not as much taste as smell but the after taste is where the flavor slightly comes in
Feel - medium high carb with some fizz and medium body
Overall - pretty good different iipa

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am revisiting my rating and adding a review here. I have had it plenty of times on tap. This is the first time it has been bottled.

A very dark, brownish-copper. Mainly clear. A fizzy off-white head.

Smells like musky tropical fruit. Tons of mango. Some body odor.

This thing comes off the top ropes with hops. Very bitter. Mango, passion fruit, peach, orange, some rye like spice, and a bunch of resinous pine.

Medium bodied and slick. The bitterness does become drying as you move forward.

If you like that sweet, tropical fruit IPA, you will want to try this one out. Make no mistake. This is a hop monster though. Overall, I have enjoyed this more on tap/in the past. It seemed a bit more balanced. It is up there in the same conversation as our beloved Ju Ju, but needs a touch more of that Chillwave malt base to get there.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

32 ounce growler
Served in a teku glass

It pours amber, borderline copper, in color. A modest beige head tops this beverage. The head didn't stick around long and left little lacing.

The smell is fantastic, tropical and citrus fruits galore. Mango and pineapple come to mind. There is a little pine as well.

The taste is exactly what I expected following the nose. Tropical fruits with a little citrus and a pine finish.

It is smooth with a medium body.

Another great IPA from an Ohio brewery. I think we are getting spoiled here.

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a copper orange color. Aromas on this beer are amazing ! Citrusy, dank and tropical with berry like aromas. Taste is pleasent and there is still that berry flavor in there that really pulls everything together.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
4.06/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An aggressively hopped brew that is sure to satisfy anyone's hop craving. I get a slight onion taste or I would have scored even higher. Still, a really nice beer.

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Photo of SomethingClever
3.67/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured into sniffer

A: dark copper I thought this would have been lighter, good clarity, not much head low carbonation

S: pure tropical fruits just explodes with mango pineapple even peach little malt there too

T: very very boozy nice tropical flavors like the nose but harshly boozy 

M: lowish carbonation the alcohol really coats your tongue lingering bitterness

I: I could smell this beer for days but I can't hardly get through the glass it's so boozy I wouldn't bother with this one unless you only plan on smelling it 

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Photo of BB1313
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

32oz growler filled at Heinen's in Mentor, Ohio

It's time to give this one a review. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a deep golden with nice transparency; small fluffy white head that leaves great retention and nice lacing. The aromas are amazing. It has that dank fruitiness that everyone loves. Strong tropical notes, but lots of citrus too. Grapefruit, mango, and strawberries. Subtle caramel malts take a backseat. The flavors match and follow the nose. Tons of fresh cut fruit. Lots of pineapple and grapefruit. There's a nice candy sweetness, but the hop bitterness and hop flavors really shine and take center stage. Tons of fresh hop vines. Some pine needles in the mix. It's slightly spicy, but nothing to worry about. Some warm resin. Mouthfeel is amazing. I love the mouthfeel. It's full-bodied and very creamy. It's still light and fluffy with moderate carbonation. It's extremely smooth. Alcohol basically goes unnoticed, although there's a subtle warmth in the finish that enhances the flavors. It's fun to drink and is dangerously drinkable.

This is the kind of DIPA that hopheads seek out. It's in the same ballpark as your favorite DIPAs. It's worth seeking out. Bravo.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Snifter pour at the BK taproom.

Ruby-orange elixir, 4mm white foam quickly dissipates to a thin rim, thick splotches of lacing coat the glass.

Yes, the hops are here: dank, resinous pine, some citrus, spice and caramel.

The thick, resinous pine leads through a smooth hop bitterness. The spice and caramel sugar are backing elements that round this one out. Such a nice hop flavor profile with the malt sweetness clearly taking a backseat.

Medium to full body, a nice resinous mouth feel.

The hops are the star here and the brewer clearly wants them to shine (hence the name). As a hophead, this is one of those rare brews (C-Bus Bodhi and FH Hop Juju are the other Ohio stars) that ensures that the malt base is definitively muted so that the hops shine and really are the essence of the brew. Don't give me a balanced DIPA, give me this. Well done.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a growler into a tulip
A: Reddish brown with a one-finger head that slowly settles
S: Wow. Very intense nose. Lots of pine, grapefruit rind, some burnt sugar
T: Turn the hops to 11. Matches the nose- mostly pine but everything else above falling into place behind it
M: Medium-bodied, crisp
O: A very hoppy, very intense beer that keeps the abv in check. Highly recommended

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Photo of KYGunner
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

The aroma and taste of this truly Imperial IPA are intense and overwhelming. The nose is filled with dank hops, pine, resins, oily pith, lemon, caramel malt and pure lupilin. The flavor is equally dank, oily, resiny and pithy with lemon, honey and caramel. The lupilin is is so strong that it must be an extract. My only complaint is that there is an underlining onion or chive that is slightly off putting.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yea, I feel the same way, Brew Kettle- If the preferred consumption of this monstrous we'll all be talkin' hops in spanish as well.

El Lupulo Libre's bronzen austere hardly suggests its bold hop dominance within. But with the nose drawing near, the ale becomes ripe with tangy citrus, lemon, herbaceous scents and the type of resinous aroma that reminds us of the close relationship of hops to cannabis.

While flavors offer a honey-dipped balance, its medium-full middle has an undercurrent of caramel and toasted grain to prop up the dripping hop character. Pink grapefruit, freshly zested oranges, a squeeze of lemon are opposite a mild melon and tropical grounding to put the hops in full command.

The flavors morph into a grassy and botanical bitterness as the sweetness trails and the fruity hop character turns decidedly sharp and resinous, growing into proportions of fresh-cut grass, chive, leaf and sassafras with simmering alcohol warmth.

Yea, its totally loco!

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Photo of barczar
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Darker than I expected, with brilliant clarity and a frothy cream head. Resin dominates the aroma initially, with tropical notes of mango and candied pineapple countering. Onion is subtle, but evident. Flavor is resin dominant, with pine throughout. Tropical fruit is a wonderful contrast. Malt is subtle, more toasted and bready than sweet. Juicy, muted grapefruit, tangerine, and mango emerge. Great flavoring hop range, though I'd prefer a little less resin dominance. Bitterness is not terribly overwhelming, but a little more than I prefer. Falls a little flat in malt body, at the end of the day.

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Photo of Omnium
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

A. Deep gold with a finger of fizzy white head little lacing.
S. Sweet Jesus. Pineapple,mango, lime juice, dragonfruit, some citrus. Such an intense fruit aroma
T. Follows the aroma there's a little pine citrus bite in the end, but you get all the majestic fruit
M. Rich, but not overly so, doesn't feel like 8.8.%
O. Sooooo good it ridiculous

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Photo of siege06nd
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From partially filled growler (keg kicked as they were filling it) to pint. Excited to try the National Imperial IPA winner! Even more excited that 3 of the final 4 are from Cleveland.

A. Pours a crystal clear copper gold. One and a half fingers of tight white head erupt and slowly sift to a half finger. Decent gops of lacing.

S. Pineapple, tangerine, mango and other tropical notes. Then an all out assault of dank grass: weed, hay, wild grass. Resolves into a honey and strawberry note with mild black pepper. Wow. This is like White Rajah with an extra layer or two of complexity. A near perfect marriage of tropical and dank. Incredible.

T. Just like the nose. Big, juicy tropical fruit yields to bitter, earthy hops and resolves into strawberry bubble yum. So much going on here it is hard to describe. Like the nose, this is very similar to White Rajah but it has more grass, more dank, more earthiness. It also finishes sweeter. Outstanding.

M. Near perfect. A marriage of tropical, dank, and sweet. My goodness there is such balance here. Opens tropical, steers earthy and dank, then resolves sweet and pure. Love love love this. Remarkably well hidden ABV and a powerful flavor profile that never overwhelms.

O. Move over Head Hunter, White Rajah, and Hop JuJu. There is a new hoppy monster on the block and he means business. Another outstanding and world class addition to Cleveland's stacked lineup of hop offerings, this DIPA from Brew Kettle is worthy of its gold medal in Brewing News' national competition. Very similar to White Rajah, but meaningfully improved. Standing ovation. Cannot believe Cleveland has had such luck in having this and Hop JuJu both arrive within the last month.

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El Lupulo Libre from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
92 out of 100 based on 24 ratings.