Steph’s New Brew Review: El Monstruo Lúpulo

Steph’s New Brew Review: El Monstruo Lúpulo

Cigar City Brewing El Monstruo Lúpulo, a 9.4% ABV Imperial India Pale Ale

Appearance Copper with a white head.
Aroma Grapefruit, pine.
Taste Grapefruit, pine, tropical fruits, wood notes.
Mouthfeel Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.
Overall Fresh and delicious.

In July 2014,, home of The Rare Beer Club, celebrated its 20th anniversary. To celebrate this occasion, The Rare Beer Club collaborated with Cigar City Brewing to create El Monstruo Lúpulo. The second collaboration beer with The Bruery called Smokey and The Bois is coming later this year.

Kris Calef, the president and founder of, traveled out to Cigar City to work on the final recipe with Wayne Wambles and the Cigar City brewing crew in Tampa. The goal was to create a heftier, cedar-aged, complexly hopped beer like cedar Jai Alai, which was the first Cigar City beer to be featured in The Rare Beer Club.

El Monstruo Lúpulo is a Rare Beer Club exclusive Imperial IPA. This imperialized version of the cedar-aged Jai Alai was aged in Spanish cedar and spruce. The Spanish cedar introduces notes of white grapefruit that pair alongside the grapefruit notes of New Zealand Pacific Jade hops while the Spanish spruce imparts notes of white pepper and sandalwood complimenting the Chinook hops. No surprise, this beer also offers notes of Florida tropical fruits like tangerine and orange from the other hop additions.

This beer was also dry-hopped with five different hop varieties including Citra, offering a pithy, citrusy punch; HBC 366 (an ex-experimental hop now called Equinox) giving hints of mango; and a variety called ADHA 527 adding notes of raspberry and blackberry. ADHA (American Dwarf Hop Association) 527 and 529 hops are also featured offering hints of orange creamsicle and sweet orange peel. These experimental varieties were hand-selected by Cigar City’s Wayne Wambles.

The malt backbone of El Monstruo Lúpulo offers a soft foundation of toast and very light toffee, laying in the background of the charismatic wood and hops.

Wanna pick this one up? Join the The Rare Beer Club to enjoy wonderful exclusives like El Monstruo Lúpulo.
Check out… this video from Cigar City Brewing… Take a tour and tasting with Brewmaster Wayne Wambles!

If you have a beer you think we should review, let us know!
And as always, toast our check-in on Untappd, and let us know what YOU think!


, , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *