Lil One | Maine Beer Company

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Lil OneLil One

Brewed by:
Maine Beer Company
Maine, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Some may call this a malty double IPA, some a hoppy barley wine. We prefer that it not be classified. We think of it, simply, as our strong winter ale. Intense hop aromatics and flavor (think pine, candied orange) blended with just enough malt sweetness to balance out the palate.

Added by bishopdc0 on 02-01-2013

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Reviews: 80 | Ratings: 525
Photo of puboflyons
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From the 500 ml bottle dated 031315. Sampled on June 7, 2015.

It is definitely a milky, unfiltered looking medium amber under a long lasting, delicate and soft tan head. Lacing.

The aroma is vibrant with sweet roasted barley malts, caramel malts, moss, orange, and earthy and pine hop delights. No alcohol.

Bold body.

Bold tastes go with the bold body. . Alcohol well masked under the aggressive roasted malts, orange fruitiness, and earthy hop bitterness.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Cloudy brownish amber with 1 finger of tan head that dissipates quickly.

Grapefruit pith, pine needle, caramel, toffee, candy sugar, and stone fruit.

Beautiful balance between the malt and hops. Rich toffee and caramel with light notes of molasses. Grapefruit juice, pine sap, and suggestions of peach, nectarine, and passion fruit. Some pleasant alcohol notes in there.

Full bodied, juicy, warming, silky, smooth, and chewy with a light bitterness.

Wow! Just a fantastic American Barleywine / DIPA thing. Tremendous balance where neither the malt or hops compete with one another. Very drinkable with an incredible body.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

BOTTLE: 1 pint .9 fl oz brown glass. Branded silver pry-off cap. Classy white label design. Bottled 02/06/15.

9.1% ABV.

Served cold into a goblet. Expectations are high given the brewery. Reviewed live as a strong winter ale per Maine Beer Co's website.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1.5 fingers wide. Frothy and foamy, with a nice creamy even consistency and a good complexion. Leaves a coating ring of lacing on the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Retention is good - ~5 minutes.

BODY: Dark copper-amber of nice vibrance. Translucent. Nontransparent. I see no yeast or sediment.

It's a nice looking winter ale, but doesn't stand out as unique or special.

AROMA: Has an unexpected hop presence bursting with sticky resins, pine needles, evergreen, and herb. Candied orange makes an appearance, true to MBC's marketing. There's a robust malt backbone, with just enough malty sweetness to balance out the hop bitterness. Copper malts, amber malts, maybe some biscuit and/or caramalt. Yeast attenuation is high, though it has sort of a flat American yeast profile.

Aromatic intensity is average. No booze or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: The hop profile is a bit too aggressive, bringing too much bitterness (especially on the climax) which isn't tamed by the malty sweetness - of which there is less than I expected. Sweet breadiness helps a bit, I guess. Hop notes include resins, sticky pine needles/pine cone, spruce, evergreen, and herb. Candied orange peel definitely comes through. Also caramelized malts, copper malts, and high-attenuation yeast. Faint sliced mango peel. Rind-y bitterness.

It's not a balanced brew by any means, with a fundamental lack of malt and hop harmony. This is a flawed build with some likable characteristics. I can see why they bill it as a winter ale, but it's far too hoppy. There's complexity, but it's too much of a mess for its complexity to be enjoyable. It lacks deliberation and focus, and isn't gestalt by any means.

TEXTURE: Overcarbonated. Sticky, hefty, heavy, full-bodied, smooth, and wet on the palate. Overbearing and filling without justification. Such a weighty mouthfeel just isn't needed, and amplifies the perceived booziness of the beer.

There's no harmony of texture to taste.

OVERALL: Fan as I am of the other MBC offerings I've had the pleasure to try, this one fell short for me. Overhopped, imbalanced, and boozy are the key attributes, reducing drinkability substantially. This isn't a beer I'd buy again if I saw it on shelves, nor is it one I'd recommend to friends. Disappointing given the brewery, but by no means awful. Average at best by my estimation.


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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a large foamy off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is an excellent blend of floral hops, fruity citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of citrus and caramel that are quickly followed by a strong piney hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and provides an excellent balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, excellent representation of style, this is a very good beer to drink for a whole evening.

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Photo of kanno
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours a hazy burnt sienna with head that sticks around a while and some decent lacing as you get through the glass.

S: I smell some sweet fruit juices along with some hops.

T: The taste is very hoppy. It has a nice malt backing, but I don't seem to get much of the citrus that was in the nose. The hops hit quick and leave a lasting bitter taste. I will say it gets more balanced as it warms up. After a while I could get the citrus and malt in the finish. I'm probably just drinking the thing too damn cold. The 9.1% abv is very well hidden behind the flavors of the beer.

F: The thick maltiness gives it a smooth feel with very balanced carbonation.

O: At first I wasn't too thrilled with this one, but as it warms up it changes quite a bit. Definitely a treat for hop heads.

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4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a mug. Thick head, doesn't have a strong hoppy smell but sure tastes like a double IPA, with lingering taste of hops. High ABV makes it absolutely delicious!

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Photo of Budinetz
4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Speaking of strong ales...this one is definitely the hoppiest American strong ales I have ever encountered and definitely some awesome flavor to back it up. At first knowing the category of the beer prior to consuming threw me off as strong ales tend to be very high I abv and mostly malt forward. However, with this particular gem, it's as if I'm drinking a DIPA that's dark as a winters night. It has the aroma of a west coast citrusy IPA but the depth of an east coast IPA with a malty backbone to counter the hop profile. Holy mother of mercy this brew is awesome. Do not sit on this as it states on the label. Drink fresh and enjoy. I know I will seek this out again when they release it!


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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 16.9 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled in October of 2014.

L- Fluffy pale white head with a light sudsy look to it. The body is amber and golden with a bit of a cloudy haze.

S- Orange juice-like citrus, brown sugar sweetness, floral and dank hops and resinous spice.

T- Tastes like a resinous, floral, and spicy IPA with a touch of citrus. Mild caramel mid-palate. Lingering lemon zest.

M- A bit of a perfume-like feel, spicy, and a tad lighter than medium-bodied. Pretty easy-drinking and doesn't at all feel like 9+% alcohol.

Reminds me of Stone's Arrogant Bastard, except it's 6 ounces less beer for a couple of dollars more. Good but there's probably a cheaper alternative.

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Photo of cfalls
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

It's been awhile since I've had an Arrogant Bastard, but I think this is similar, but a bit better. The hop flavors are more to my liking -- citrus and floral without being too bitter.

My only complaint is that the alcohol is a bit over the top for my tastes, though for sure that's what they were going for -- a warming winter ale.

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Photo of klav
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2 - 6 -15

Amazing caramel color. Tons of citrus and dark fruit. Not as bitter on the finish as I was expecting. A dangerously easy drink.

My second favorite now from MBC. Right behind MO.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.54/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Maine Beer Co Lil’ One
.5L bottled 1.2.15

Super hazy dark amber with reddish hues. Tight, off-white head. (3)

Tropical fruit, ethanol, berry. Hoppy. (4)

Hop bitterness is strong, more on the back than other beers from this brewery. Lots of citrus and tropical fruit. Some pine. Caramel malt character coming into play, some dark fruit, too. Malts are boring overall. Boozy as all hell. Damn. Fusels present. Slight headache coming on. Mouthfeel is full, but needs more creaminess and body to counteract the high ABV. Carbonation is medium range, small bubbles. (3.5, 3)

Like a hoppier but ultimately less satisfying version of Bigfoot. Solid, but lots of booze without the body needed to back it up. Maybe this needs some age. A hot, hoppy shredder. (3.5)

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Photo of far333
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Caramel colored and opaque with a low, frothy head that settles out quickly. Big bright aroma of citrusy hops, is that a ton of cascade? Huge hops flavor with subtle malt riding beneath. Alcohol flavors emerge, adding some warmth, but the hops mask it somewhat. Rubbing alcohol lingers. Could use more depth of flavor for my tastes, as hops and alcohol dominate, but the hops are fresh and delicious, so I'll enjoy the rest of this one.

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Photo of BoardwalkBock
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First try of Maine Lil' One. Bottled on January 4th, 2015. A little over 3 weeks old.

A: Ruby red, bright oranges when held to the light. Solid 2 finger head that subsides to a very nice, spider-web like lacing.

S: Starts off with bold malts and brown sugar, followed up by intensely bright citrus, flower and pine hop aromas. Smells like a christmas tree covered in orange soda, if that was a thing.

T: The hops are so juicy and straight forward it is unbelievable. Tons of citrus and pine. Very dank and amazingly hop forward. Not what I expected. A good malt backbone helps this beer from becoming too bitter and overpowering. Reminds me of a DIPA and Barleywine mixed.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated. Smooth.

O: Wonderful product from Maine. I had never heard of this beer before, and I've been drinking Maine beers since they first started to get distributed about 2 years ago. I used to pick up Lunch and Another One one day and come back a month later and half the case would still be there. Why hasn't this beer gotten more attention? It certaintly deserves it. Honestly, better than Lunch but a step below Another One, and that is not a bad thing.

Definitely pick up a bottle if you have the chance. I hope to see this come around more often.

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Photo of athomasPSU
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a fantastic color and head. It pours a nice amber color with about 1 finger of head.

The smell is great but I usually think their beers are very nose forward. This one isn't as much as the others. It's still got that great dark fruit juice smell with a bunch of hops. Decent amount of a citrus smell.

The taste is just like it smells. Juicy, hoppy, and citrus. It's like a candied pine cone with some sugar or brown sugar? It's very interesting.

Feels like a medium body to me. It's very nice.

Overall, this beers looks, smells, and tastes fantastic. It's definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle as a trade extra dated 010215. Pours hazy deep dark orange amber with a huge off white and yellowish creamy fluffy head. Nice aroma with the characteristic Maine yeast, floral hops, light citrus sweetness, some bready malt. For the ABV, the aroma comes off very delicate. Nice. Flavor is nicely bitter citrus rind, floral flavors, lemon peel, some pine, sweet malty bready backbone. Medium bodied, medium carbonation with just a touch of prickle, dry bitter, dank. Basically a DIPA here bordering on very light barleywine, but comes off relatively light on the palate. This is really nice.

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Photo of gonzo000
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Maine Beer Co just keeps pumping out extremely good beers. Wow, this one is an excellent ale. Nice rust color on the pour. Very good, big flavors with hints of hops, but malt heavy in all the right places. MBC - cannot go wrong.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a bit cloudy. Dark Amber color. Huge head. Thick, squishy and frothy. Lots of frothy lacing. Aroma is full of candied citrus hops some pine and sweet apricot hops. Also quite malty and balanced with caramel, fruit cake. The first sip really brings a potent hop delivery. Spicy, herbal hops. Pine, dried grass, grapefruit, candied oranges. Hefty maltiness but it finishes rather dry. Caramel, sweet dough and crusts. Quite bitter. Noticeable alcohol. Pretty aggressive. Interestingly enough, it becomes softer as it warms. Full bodied. A tongue dryer. Not my favorite Maine brew; still pretty tasty. Definitely a nice, hoppy offering that pairs excellently with the bitter cold weather outside.

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Photo of SteveB24
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look- color of the beer is a hazy copper, pours three fingers of thick, off white head that retains very well and leaves beautiful chunks of lacing on the side of the glass.
Smell-floral notes and tropical fruit, definitely some mango in there, pretty boozy as well, especially as the beer warms up.
Taste-not as fruity as the aroma, however there is some fruit upfront, mango and a touch of oranges, faintly metallic as well, finishes with smooth malt, slightest hint of booze in the very end.
Feel-medium bodied, surprisingly carbonated, very creamy on the tongue but finishes pretty dry.
overall-not quite in the same league as the famous Maine brews Lunch and Dinner, but a solid offering, due to the high price i'm not sure if i'd buy it again but i'm glad i tried it.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.59/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Damon's in Augusta
Dated Jan so this might not be quite the hop monster it once was. Pours a slightly murky golden amber color with a frothy off white head that persists forever sticking lots of lace on the sides. Aromas of earth pine brown sugar and caramel. The flavor is bit sweet with hints of caramel and raw brown sugar with a solid hit of earthy pine and resin. Toffee and light fruit with a bit of alcohol flavor round us out. Medium to thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sticky creamy resinous mouthfeel. I drank this at the wrong time I think. Either super fresh when the hops still popped or with more age to bring forward more fruit and subdued hops. I'm interested enough in seeing how this develops that I may pick up a bottle on my way out of town to cellar for a bit.

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Photo of Florida9
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Lighter caramel brown in color. Moderately hazy. Forms a very large off-white head. Excellent retention. Copious lacing.

S: Vanilla, oak, caramel malts, mildly earthy. Grassy-earthy hops.

T: Taste starts off with a blend of woodiness and alcohol. Then turns slightly sweet. Notes of vanilla, oak and a heavy dose of spice along with toffee and caramel malt. Finish is mildly fusel.

M: Medium bodied. Fusel spice. Moderate bitterness. Alcoholic. Appropriate carbonation.

O: Was this beer aged on wood? Because it seems like it was. A rather hoppy Strong Ale, one with the alcohol front and center.

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Photo of Hendry
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep amber hue, slightly cloudy appearance,massive 3 finger head khaki head, extensive lacing in the tulip.

Very hop forward and exploding with orange rind and pine needles in your nostrils, sweet malt isn't hiding but it is low in the mix.

Sweet malt briefly appears then disappears before the gripping bitterness from the hops sets in, spicy hops abound with a pepper kick . The aroma is a notch better than the flavor, which begins to warm the throat and chest: not unexpected for 9.1%.

Mouthfeel is a heavy medium, sort of dense and oily. The bitterness is relatively brief and intense on the palate before fading away, a quality that I can appreciate. This one is a sipper for certain.

Lil One is worthy of a World Class rating, but has been knocked down a peg by loyalists of Lunch that unfairly compare the two despite the distinctly different styles of a Strong Ale and an IPA. MBC stretches the boundaries of a typical Strong Ale by over-hopping, then dry hopping and bottle conditioning: the result is an arse kicking brew that rocks your palate and tickles your hop bone!

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Photo of Cavanaghty
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Reddish amber with a thin off white head. Mild lacing on the glass.

Smell: Strong hops and citrus.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of strong hops and malts with citrus and pine notes.

Overall: Excellent beer!

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Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really nice red glow with about a finger of sticky yellow tinged head. Nose is explosive upon pouring. Lots of grapefruit citrus and pine on the nose along with lots of caramel. Slightly spicy as well.

Surprisingly less intense then it's nose in a good way. Very heavy bodied.piney and herbal throughout with a spicy hop bite on the back end. Clean hop finish with a touch of alcohol heat. Subtle notes of citrus and caramelized dried fruits.faint sweetness with moderate bitterness to cut it.a little moodiness and a big body reminds you this is a big beer which is nice. Bold and mild and nicely balanced but like most strong ales/barleywines lacks any form of drinkability. A nice clean supper. Like other Maine beers nicely balanced, well blended, clean, subtle yet bold and pricey.

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Photo of IronLover
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lightly weathered copper orange in color with a heavy haze. Poured with a thick, dense beige foam that reduced to a thick cap that left, thick, sticky lacings on the glass. Sharp citrus grapefruit aromas followed by pine hops and sticky sweet caramel malt. Ripe pineapple and boozy aromas begin to surface as this warms along with intensifying maltiness. Full bodied with a thick oily feel and very soft, light carbonation. The hop flavors are in reverse of the aroma. Big pine hop bite with biting tropical citrus flavors beneath and a sturdy, sweet caramel malt backbone. Finished with a light pine hop bitterness. An excellent hop forward strong ale.

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Photo of mjtiernan
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16oz bottle poured into a Lost Abbey Teku. Bottled 2/11/14

A 9.1% strong ale that the label insists that I drink fresh? Okay, I’m game.

A: Large three finger head...looks to be well carbed. Murky reddish brown body. Nothing shocking.

S: Bam! Lots of hops. Quite dank. Pine and sweet candy-like fruit. A little alcohol burn if you inhale a little more aggressively.

T: Delicious! Wonderful hoppiness...same as the nose. Then some sweet brown sugar mid-palate, nowhere near cloying. An unremarkable hoppy bitter finish.

M: Well-carbed. Full bodied and chewy.

O: Reminds me of fresh Bigfoot. That’s a compliment.

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Lil One from Maine Beer Company
4.1 out of 5 based on 525 ratings.
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