Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lagunitas IPA Maximus Ale

Getting A Little Loose!

Lagunitas Maximus IPA Label

Beer Reviewed: IPA Maximus
Style: IPA


As a little behind the scenes, let me tell you that I wasn’t planning on reviewing this IPA as my next offering from Lagunitas. I won’t spoil the suspense by telling you which one it was, but I let my enjoyment get away from me last week and I polished off my stash somewhat unexpectedly.

We had a little event in the neighborhood. The details aren’t important, but the effect was a total power outage for most of the evening. That meant no internet, TV or phone, which really impacted my evening. I had already started on a couple of beers while watching Fanboys with the family, and when that happened, I just kept drinking for entertainment. Then, the neighbors were chatting up our front lawn, which was nice, but it also kept me with a beer in my hand and offering my remaining stash to others. It’s the right thing to do.

I was happy to reconnect with the neighbors, but I wish I had more to offer them. I’m worried I came off as cheap, but the reality is I ran out and I couldn’t run out to get more because a) my condition and b) the giant tree blocking my driveway, which knocked out the power.

I think the lesson here is twofold. Pay more attention to my consumption as to not let the day get away from you, and always keep a larger stash on hand to keep others happy and imbibing.

Now, on to the beer...

The Beer

Beer characteristics

Quantitative parameters of beer character

  1. The IBU rating on the bottle indicates a 59 rating, which seems low for a beer focusing on maximum hops, but as I’ve discussed previously, when you get up in the 80s, 90s and 100, the hoppiness dulls and it isn’t really bitter anymore. The Hitchens Taste Scale would put this at a +4
  2. The website and the label are in agreement that the alcohol content is 8.2% Alc/Vol, which seems a bit stiff.
  3. The color is a honey, amber and I would put this IPA at about a 13 on the Lovibond scale, which is a aligned with a double IPA.
Qualitative parameters of beer character

  1. The aroma has a bright and enjoyable citrus, but it doesn’t seem to have the Tangerine like the basic IPA from Lagunitas.
  2. The flavor is not as hoppy and bitter and I was expecting. I consider that a good thing because I don’t appreciate the craft beer tendency to think super-hoppy is great. I’m referring to you Dogfish Head! The confusing part is on their website, there is a quote that reads: “Flavor so hoppy it threatens to remove the enamel from one’s teeth.”. Possibly a bit misleading, but a pleasant surprise nonetheless.
  3. The aftertaste seems to carry the hops through, albeit not very long, but there is some additional complexity that is pleasing.
  4. The mouthfeel is unremarkable. Typical IPA tingle and trails off quickly.
  5. The carbonation leads with a great head and a consistent stream of bubbles.
  6. The temperature probably has a bit of range, but my preference is colder, especially with the higher alcohol content.


I quite enjoyed this beer and it was a bit of a surprise. I was expecting some ridiculously hoppy beer that burns on the way down (exaggerating), but this is an enjoyable IPA with only a slightly more hoppy taste. This is my second (reviewed) IPA from Lagunitas and it’s a great continuation of the string. Go try some!

- Enthusiast

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