Monday, August 9, 2010

Lagunitas Maximus Review

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Co. | Beer: Maximus
Style: American Double India Pale Ale | ABV: 7.5% | IBUs: 72
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into tulip glass

Lagunitas MaximusNot quite as big as Hop Stoopid, but bigger than their IPA, Maximus is Lagunitas' "small" Double IPA. Apparently, it's a similar recipe to the IPA, but with "more hops, more alcohol and more body."

Unfortunately, Lagunitas doesn't disclose the hop or malt varieties employed, but I think it's safe to assume there are hops in here that start with the letter "C."

As is tradition here on PintLog, with any Lagunitas beer I post the lovable and sprawling madness found on the bottom of the six-pack holder:

Big beers are good and Big IPAs are even better. But it's kinda like, well, first you ride some great wheelies and then you get it in your head to try jumping stuff. Maybe you start with a ramp in the driveway and then you move on to bigger things like a real cougar and rattle snakes. It's a rush and all your friends think you're pretty cool, but eventually even that's not enough so you jump through fire, over some trucks, some Dodge's and Semi's, a fountain, and later a pile of wrecked cars. While making strong beers it's hard to screw the pooch and end up steppin' off into a rag doll boogie, but your taste buds can get bent and over time you start thinkin' that only bigger is better. Eventually you jump your beer over the Snake Canyon and end up on the news in the river with a headache. We do dig our beers big and we do dig an occasional Flip n' Whip, a solid McMetz, or a Nack grab... but balance is still the most important skill and the MAXIMUS IPA is exactly that. Ask anyone. Ride a pint. Taste the hops. Slurp the malt. Drink the Juice. Live to ride another day...
Hmmm, alright. Well, let's pour this bad boy out and "ride the pint."

Appearance: A crystal-clear clear, orange-brown body. On top, a finger of fluffy, off-white head that leaves good lacing.

Aroma: A complex hop profile that's hard to pin down: perfumey, floral, earthy, piney, and candied citrus. Underneath it all, a solid dose of caramel malt.

Taste: Much the same combination here: pungent, earthy, and citrusy hops over caramel malt. While the hop character is certainly not as big as you'd expect with the name and marketing, it's still very tasty. With everything going on, the alcohol is masked well. The aftertaste is nicely bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied and almost creamy. Somewhat dry.

Drinkability: With a milder hop profile and alcohol content, this is above average for the style.

Verdict: Despite it's name, Maximus is certainly on the lower end of the Double IPA intensity scale. If you like pungent hops in your beer, this is certainly worth trying; just don't expect a total hop-bomb.

Grade: A-

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