Lagunitas Maximus IPA Review: Perfect For Hopsheads

Lagunitas Brewing was founded in 1993 by Tony Magee in Lagunitas, California. The company is very fast-growing, and they receive consistently high ratings on their beers. The company moved its facilities to Petaluma, California when it began to grow. But this year, Lagunitas announced that it will be buying facilities in Chicago: talk about hitting the big time! I am a big fan of Lagunitas, not because of their rather obnoxious, thesaurus-inspired descriptions on their bottles, but rather because they tend to regularly produce solid, high-quality beer.

Maximus IPA (ABV 8.2%) is described by the brewery as their standard IPA recipe, but with lots more hops. By definition, an IPA (India Pale Ale) is a standard English-style ale with a large amount of hops added for preservation and flavor. Well, I love bold, hoppy ales, so I was eager to try this one, especially since it has received generally good reviews. It turns out to be extremely bitter, which is a good thing for some of us. Others might find it a bit off-putting. Let’s take a look at exactly what I mean.

Everything On Tap Review: Lagunitas Maximus IPA:

Bottle: The bottle comes in the standard 12 ounces, and is also available as a 22 ounce bomber. The glass is medium-brown. The label is rectangular and off-white, with red, black, and green lettering.

Pour: This IPA pours a rich, profound, very-hazy copper-orange, with sediment in the glass. The off-white head is two fingers thick at least, and dissipates slowly, leaving heavy lacing.

Aroma: This ale should be stored cool (but not cold), and as you pour and drink it, allow it to warm to room temperature — this will allow you to experience the full hops profile. The aroma releases an initial bouquet of intense hops, including bitterness, pine resin, citrus, and grass. This continues, as the aroma produces almost no detectable malt.

Flavor: Interestingly, the flavor profile begins with smooth maltiness. This is quickly followed by extremely intense hops, including extraordinary bitterness, but also complimented with piney, citrus, and grassy elements. There is also a floral undertone that can be detected when the ale warms up. The bitterness is very strong, and lingers on the palate long after the finish. I found this IPA to be delightful, but I also keep in mind that not everyone likes a beer this bitter.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium, as is the refreshing carbonation. Without this nice bubbling carbonation, this beer might be too bitter for most people to endure, but the crisp, dry mouthfeel and the carbonation offset the bitterness in a pleasant, balanced way.

Structure: The structure is solid and balanced despite the intense hoppiness.

Overall Rating Out Of 5 Possible Beer Mugs: