819: Lagunitas Maximus

819 - Lagunitas MaximusName: Lagunitas Maximus
Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Petaluma, California
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
Alcohol Content (ABV): 8.2%
First Brewed: 1996
Price: $1.79

Tasting Notes
Bright amber in color, the Maximus wallops you on the nose with a big howitzer of hops. Strong citrus, grassy and vegetal aromas dominate. Equally mammoth hop flavors are buoyed by a malt backbone that ultimately balanced the beer. The finish is tart and lingers.

Ricky’s Thoughts

This is the last Lagunitas beer on the list, which is sad. I like this brewing company. I am a HUGE fan of their IPA, and their Cappuccino Stout is really nice. For $3.99 for 22 ounces, you can’t beat it. Their seasonal WTF release is pretty nice, too. I have had Maximus before, but love the flavor… being a hop head, I can appreciate an affordable double IPA. There should be more beers from them on the list, but there are a lot more to look forward to. Excited to drink another bottle of Maximus! Cool story on where they got the name, too. I bet dogs are welcome in the tasting room!

In the Glass: This seems a little light for a typical double IPA, but I know this beer has a lot of citrus aromas and a nice flavor, so maybe that is why my mind thinks it looks more like orange juice than it does beer. The head is nice and thin, but the beer is producing a thick and juicy lace that is just clinging to the side of the glass. I told myself, after visiting the Old World Brewery last night, that I wasn’t going to drink today. Oh well, cheers!

Nose: For being a double IPA, you expect more hops. Think about the 90 Minute IPA from Dogfish head. You smell that, and can taste the hops. This has a load of hoppy goodness, but it is not overwhelming. That is a good thing, because from what I remember, that balance carries over to the flavor. The beer almost smells fruity and fun.

Flavor: Those same fruity flavors DO carry over, and the flavor is actually more balanced than I remember. It is also more carbonated than what I remember, but the carbonation shows up and is gone as fast as it arrived. The initial flavor explodes on the front of your palate, and is (considering the ABV) well balanced to a smooth and somewhat drying finish. The citrus flavors are obvious, and the hops are so mellow, you would never know you were drinking a DIPA. It’s good, and scary drinkable.

Mouthfeel: At first, the mouthfeel is boring and smooth, then bubbles attack your palate about halfway back, then it mellows again as you begin to swallow. The mouthfeel is almost like a roller coaster as it changes two or three times with each drink. This provides a fun, and unexpected experience while drinking this beer. (The burp is nice, bringing those fruity flavors back to the center of your palate.)

Aftertaste: At first, there are some subtle hop flavors hanging around, and then the drying begins. From there, you are taken to a nice, mellow finish that lingers for a few minutes. You lose flavor every time you swallow, but the beer is so drinkable, I bet you don’t wait to see how long it lasts before you take another sip.

I am sad this is our last Lagunitas bottle, as they have such a good line of beers… but all three we did were good, and I love their expected hop profile. They are like Stone in that regard, providing you a consistent and enjoyable experience regardless of the beer you pick. If there is a bar in the Valley that has this on tap, I need to try this on draft. It would be good nitro, too.

Maximus – The bottle says: “NA”

Rating: 4/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

Well, unfortunately, it seems we need to look for a new hosting site.  It’s obviously very slow right now, and our host says it’s WordPress, and I have tried all of the WordPress tricks I can find to speed it up with no luck.  They refuse to admit that the slowness is on their end, and since I can’t find any way to speed it up, there’s really no choice but to switch hosts.  So that’s what we’re going to do.  Please be patient as we get it switched over.  I’ve never really done this before, so it should be interesting.  Hopefully everything goes smoothly.  In the meantime, we are going to keep reviewing some beers and just save the reviews to post when we get the site back up and running again.  So, if you are reading this review, then it should be back up.  Yay!

Let’s just go right into today’s beer.  It was somewhat foamy when Ricky poured it out, but not too bad.  That’s mostly dissipated now.  The color is kind of a light orange.  It is pretty transparent, and not too thick, but not completely thin, either.  I only see a couple of small bubbles floating up to the top, so I’m guessing it’s not too carbonated.  It smells slightly hoppy, but not overly so.  There’s a little bit of spiciness and citrus to it too.  Time to find out what it tastes like.

It is hoppy, more so than I expected, but it’s not over-the-top hoppy, which I like.  IPAs tend to all taste a lot alike to me, and they mostly just taste hoppy, overwhelming any other flavor that may be there.  But this one’s not too bad.  It also has a bit more carbonation than I expected.  But I like this one, as far as IPAs go.  There’s a lot of heat in the aftertaste, too.  I’m not even really sure why, but this one has a good flavor to me.  I like the heat, I like that the hops are not over-the-top, and I like the mouthfeel.  I can’t quite give it too high of a rating, because there’s just not anything all that special about it, but I do like the taste.  I’d buy this one again if I was in the mood for an IPA.

Rating: 3/5

818 bottles of beer on the wall…

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