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

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Lupulin Maximus Imperial IPALupulin Maximus Imperial IPA

Brewed by:
O'so Brewing Company & Tap House
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by cdkrenz on 11-24-2008

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Reviews: 90 | Ratings: 307
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 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 zeledonia
2.43/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pretty fresh, bottled in the last month I'd guess. My bottle has two hop cones in it!

Pours medium amber, almost completely clear but with a touch of haze. Half finger of yellowish head, decent retention and nice little islands of lacing.

Smell starts out pretty good, but shifts into something stranger. At the beginning, it's quite malty, with hefty amounts of sweet caramel. Big pine needle hops tickle my nostrils. But then it drifts into weird territory, slightly pungent and fruity in a way I don't like. Infected?

Ugh. I do not like this. Once again, it starts out in familiar territory, but then some strange stuff comes flying in from right field. Malty-hoppy-tasty to begin, and quite sweet for an IPA; pine once again dominant amongst the hoppy hops. But then some bad bitterness (alcohol) and off flavors come in. Like rotten fruit. Yum. I can't drink this.

Mouthfeel is fine. On the sticky side, as I want it to be, but with enough carbonation. No problem here.

I was thinking about sending this out as an extra in an upcoming trade. Boy, am I happy I tried it first. Did I get a bad bottle? Perhaps.

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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 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

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Photo of darklordlager
3.21/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

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Photo of billyzoom666
3.22/5  rDev -17%
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.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.22/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Yep, there's a whole hop cone...not sure how this makes me feel.

Murky red with 1 1/2 finger foamy off-white head.

Off scented aroma, a lot of sugary aroma present.

Bready, creamy, thick, sweet and sugary, drinkable, slightly dank, dry, lower carbonation, missing bitterness and bite..

Not sure how I feel about this brew... It's mixed on too many levels for me to quite make up my mind.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Schlafly snifter.

Pours a nice hazy strong copper color with some nice amber hues. No head to speak off. A heavy swirl picks up a slight white film. Aroma is slightly sweet and piney and some nice citrus notes are present in there as well. Nose is a bit mild for a DIPA. Flavor starts off a bit mild but then again I don't think this brew is very fresh. However there is still some good hop juice notes in there and some nice slight citrus notes. Piney resinous notes as well as some sweet caramel malt notes. Pretty well balanced brew. Mouthfeel is light and the lack of carbonation is a bit off putting but not too much.

The brew is not bad but I don't think I would have it again. Maybe if I try a fresher bottle.

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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 billshmeinke
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden/orange body.

Smells grassy and herbal. There's a hop presence that borders on funky (cheese like). Some light sweet caramel and dried fruit.

Tastes of caramel and subtle dried fruits (pineapple), some coconut too. Biscuity malt. Hops come through as straight bitterness (resin/dank). Hints of papery oxidation on the finish.

Mouthfeel is big, full bodied, well carbonated. Wet, not sticky. Fairly dry finish.

Hop cone in the beer... cool story bro. Unfortunately this bottle tastes like its got a bit of age on it. I'd love to try it fresh sometime.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured In: Pint Glass
Purchased At: The Coffee Grounds (Eau Claire, WI)

Appearance: Pours a hazy ... what the deuce. At first I thought it was a slimy green monster spilling out of the top of the glass. Nope, it's a hop cone. Why thank you O'so, I appreciate it. I like that the label doesn't have any description of the beer whatsoever. If someone is picking this up and doesn't know about the craving of hops some of us have, they're sure in for a surprise. And probably a drain pour. Anyways, back to the show. It pours a hazy amber color with two fingers of cream colored head sitting at the top. The head disappears quickly, but there's a thin sheet that stays on the top. The beer is slightly effervescent, looks like it will have a medium amount of carbonation. There's not much lace on the side of the glass which I was expecting from the color of the beer. It looks like some sweet sticky malt. After letting the beer sit for just a few minutes, it loses the haze and becomes quite clear.

Smell: The nose isn't as hop loaded as I was expecting. In fact, it's a bit of a let down. The hop profile is there, but it's got more of the IPA feel to it versus the IIPA. It's mostly a blend of earthy hops with malt in the background. Some slightly toasted caramel malt and then pine, grass and soil.

Taste: The palate picks up most of the same notes listed in the nose. As the beer crosses the palate the malt shows up first; it's sweet and sticky malt that has an ever so slight toasted note riding along with it. After the malt comes the bittering earthy hops. And I mean bittering, they destroy any of the sweetness that the malt wanted to uphold. Pine and herbal notes right up front. Once the beer washes away and oxidation in my mouth starts up, it's citrus fruit coating my teeth and tongue. Notes of grapefruit and orange peel are dominant.

Mouthfeel: A medium amount of carbonation. Medium body, just slightly on the more full side of the scale.

Drinkability: This was a good beer, don't get me wrong. It just didn't live up to hop profile that I expected in an IIPA. I'm glad I tried it, but I don't feel that it deserves to get an A rating when there are so many other great IIPA's out there. I hate to give a Wisconsin brewery a rating on the lower side, but I feel that this is a fair rating.

After looking at O'so's website, it makes me want to visit their brewery. I need to get out there sometime.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

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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 DNICE555
3.44/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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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 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 Treebs
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Enjoyed on tap at Palmer Place. Served in a snifter.

A: Pours a dark amber color with some raspberry highlights. A yellowish foam forms on the pour and recedes to a thick ring. Some big splotches of lace are left down the glass.

S: Sweet malt body with some light citrus. Piney with some boozy notes.

T: Boozy alcohol notes up front with some pine and melon. A little citrus peel bitterness, but the alcohol is very in the forefront. Some pine and resinous notes as well.

M: Medium bodied with a little heft to it. Medium low carbonation.

O: Way too boozy, but it wasn't that bad overall. Probably wouldn't have again though.

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

A - Pours a hazy dark orange with one finger of head, good retention. mild amount of sediment from hop cone in the bottle.

S - sweet malt, lemon and grapefruit, hops, but not as hop forward as it warms.

T - hops followed by more hops! also toffee, malt, citrus.

M - fairly thick and sticky, alcohol comes only in the aftertaste.

D - good drinkability, not in my top DIPAs, but interesting, something different with the hop cone in the bottle, and overall not a bad DIPA on occasion.

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Photo of blackearth
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Purchased from Discount Liquors in Milwaukee, WI. Pours a dark copper body with a thick white head that last. Aroma is hay-like hops. Medium to full bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Spicy malt flavors compliment the hops, but overall it is more sweet than necessary. Good, but I think it could be better.

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Photo of SiphonKing
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy dark amber, minimal off white head. minimal lace. Heaps of caramel on the nose, toffee. Some underlying resin, pine. Taste presents resin pine flavored bitterness which is backed by a substantial toffee malt body. Just a bit sweet. Mouthfeel is medium and creamy. Very slight lingering bitterness. Overall is an interesting drink, the ABV becomes a bit too noticeable, and it's just a tad malty for my preferences. Can I eat this hop cone?

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Photo of doucmehu
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Fairly fresh bottle, was just delivered a week ago in Hudson. Yep, there was a hop cone in there - kind of cool. (2013 vintage on draft notes)

A: Pours a dirty rust color, more brown than orange. Minimal off-white head. Looks like a Flanders red. (Pours a amber-orange with a moderate, creamy off white head. Huge, thick lacing rings)

S: Big blast of sweet oranges is followed by earthy, onion-y hops that just smells sticky and sweet. All of the sweetness seems to come from the hops. Very nice and inviting. (Same)

T: Piney and earthy hops are very sweet and a bit spicy, with that garlic/onion bite. I don't discern much in the way of malt, but despite all the hops presence it seems too sweet and syrupy. I like the hop flavor, but I don't know if I am digging the excess found here. There is some mild alcohol presence as well. (Really sticky, resinous hops are both citrus rind and vegetal)

M: This is a big disappointment. Somewhat heavy and yet also rather watery. Carbonation is very low, almost flat tasting actually. With all the hops you would expect a sticky resinous mouthfeel, but this is not the case. Alcohol is present, and the finish is moderately bitter and dry. (Creamy, full body, slightly buttery feel with a moderately bitter finish that creeps up rather than hits hard. Doesn't really "finish")

O: I really wanted to like this beer, but I just wouldn't drink it again. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't very well put together either. I wasn't a huge fan of the hop profile. The watery, flat mouthfeel was a killer for this beer. (Guess I drank it again, this time on tap. Enjoyed it quite a bit more, seemed less vegetal/onion-y than last review. Still a bit resinous and heavy for more than one)

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Photo of Etan
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle (hop inside?) into a tulip. O'so just made it into Chicago.

A: Pours a murky orange-amber with a large white head.

S: Sweet citrus, pine, apricot jam. Light caramel and cracker malt underneath.

T: Caramel, heavy oily bitterness, pine and grass, light apricot. The focus is on the bitterness here.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: This smelled pretty good, but the taste could have used some more hop character than the bitterness. I think the appearance was affected negatively (murky) because of the hop in the bottle. By no means bad, but not great either.

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Lupulin Maximus Imperial IPA from O'so Brewing Company & Tap House
3.88 out of 5 based on 307 ratings.
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