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 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 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 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 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 jwinship83
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a different label traded to me by some guy at dark lord day. he offered this bottle to me after i gave him a pour of something. details are a bit fuzzy. if this was you, thanks! drank from my sierra nevada hop tulip glass.

A- just as the bottle would indicate, there is a hop cone floating in here! pretty gimmicky, but pretty cool also. as far as i know this is the only beer out there like this. the beer itself pours a hazy glowing golden colored body with a small bright white head on top. the head has decent retention and leaves behind small marks of lacing.

S- very hoppy. lots of pine notes coming from my glass. a lesser amount of grapefruit, but it still makes itself known. an even lesser amount of tropical fruits such as pineapple and mango. some caramel malts sneak through towards the end of my whiff and try to offer up some sweetness and a little bit of balance. alcohol is pretty strong also.

T- the taste starts out with some of those sweet caramel malts that i could smell, but theyre no match for the hops this beer has. lots of pine and grapefruit. very fresh tasting. the pineapple i could smell comes through a little, but the mango seems to have vanished. the alcohol isnt as well hidden as i would have liked.

M- the body is full and syrupy. palate coating. the carbonation is very low. a nice level of bitterness. there is moderate warming from the alcohol.

O- too strong to have more than one of in a sitting. the hop cone in the bottle was a nice touch. this is an under appreciated DIPA from a brewery that no one really talks about. check it out if you get the chance.

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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 Thickfreakness
4.97/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review #50... I just happened to pull this one out of the fridge (Thank you hopscrazy)...

A- Poured into a tulip glass... beautiful blonde foamy head sits atop an orange/yellow brew... wait a minute... somethings floating in my glass! A whole hop cone! Now that's presentation!!!

S- Smells like I just peeled a grapefruit! Tons of fresh citrus flow. Amazing blend of pine, fruit, and a hint, just a hint of sweet malt. Lemon zest and fresh squeezed orange juice! I have never had a IIPA this amazing on the nose! It KILLS Pliny!

T- OMG... this is it! All others can go home and work on their game! The freshness of the citrus, the bitter pine... that hidden malt backbone that brings it all together... Damn!!! I have never had an IPA that had it's shit together like this one does! Not Surly, RR, Troegs, Ithaca, or Southern Tier... This is unreal, and absolutely fabulous! I wonder if it's having the hop cone in the bottle for that long? Awesome idea indeed!

M- Bitter like an Ex... yet loving and caring like your new girl! This is without a doubt an unforgetable beer! One of those life changing beers for me...

O- It's almost perfect! Awesome all the way around! I'm pretty sure this is what Zeus drinks in the summer!!! This brew will make you forget all about Pliny... Move over PtE... Look out PtY... there just might be a new sheriff in town!

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Photo of vitrael
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Herr herr herr, may contain hop cones? Mine had two, which I could not avoid pouring into the glass. Unfiltered light-colored and slightly cloudy with minimal head and lacing.

S: Instantaneous huge fresh hop smell when I opened the bottle. Citrus and spice.

T: I am a fan of this kind of IPA that does balances a serious hop bill by pulling no punches on the grain bill. Very big sweet and bready malt flavors alongside a nice hop bitterness and citrus, pine, and spicey hop flavors. A very well-balanced beer that I would compare with DFH 90 minute IPA, although with slightly less sweet and earthy malt characteristics. Extremely praiseworthy and definitely the best part of the beer.

M: Definitely way undercarbed. Thin. A little disappointing.

Cute gimmick, and I'm glad I bought the bottle because the flavor was fantastic, though it came up lacking in a few other ways. Regardless I would buy and drink again.

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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 adman08
3.61/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of drizzam
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
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!!

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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 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 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 kbnooshay
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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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 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 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 seeswo
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of kk73
3.92/5  rDev +1%
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.

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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 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 Wisconsin
4.15/5  rDev +7%
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.

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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 beerwolf77
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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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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