Lagunitas brewing co ‘Maximus’ IPA


image“I leaned back with my feet up on my desk. I read my name backwards on the door and wondered. Like a bad joke told to a brown-shoed square in the dead of night, it all came rushing back to me. I thought carefully about getting up from my desk, putting on my new Velarimosa prawn hat, opening the door to the hallway, checking the spelling on my name one more time, closing the door behind me, making my way down the evening street full of worn gastritis, continuing to a dark doorway, the length of which would lead me to a knuckle-worn bar top of mildew and pine, mounting a bow-legged stool and ordering a pint of the nectaral Maximus Ale. And then I did.”

If only it were so easy for us down under to walk down the street and order a pint of fresh top shelf American IPA! Beer envy! Anywho, we’ll happily settle for this bottled version which we served in to an IPA glass. Our eyes are drawn upon a gorgeous amber appearance with brilliant clarity. Roughly a finger of white foam retains well, peeling off a smidge and maintaining a thick blanket over the top. Streaky lacing, but a healthy amount to be seen. Looks delicious. Once our heads stopped spinning from constantly sniffing this brilliant aroma we agreed that it’s one of the best we’ve smelt for a while. Quite pungent actually! We get a strong presence of citrus (ruby grapefruit, orange) floral pine, stone fruits and bready malts. A tropical fruit sweetness, a touch of licorice and a slight alcoholic astringency also comes through. Maybe a faint hint of acetone in the background but not enough to hinder this magnificent aroma. In the mouth it’s moderately weighted with a slick, oily mouth feel, becoming dry as the modest 72 IBU kicks in. A little sting from the 8.2% ABV but it’s reasonably wel behaved. A big blast of citric bitterness, orange and pine are lit up by the warmth from the ABV upon entry. It all seems to settle through the mid as a bready malt develops, leading in to a long and dry bitter finish. Plenty of those big, bitter citrus fruits like grapefruit, orange peel and passion fruit linger well on the rear palate. Solid duration. It’s been a while since we got our teeth into a real American IPA and it has certainly hit the spot. Big, bitter, fruity and all with a decent malt base to even it out. Highly enjoyable.