Beer Blogging - Lagunitas Maximus IPA
The vitals: this bottle is 1 pint 6 oz. of a 7.5% alcohol India Pale Ale. For the serious beer geeks out there, this beer has an IBU of 72.41 and an original gravity of 1.08. Let's look at the more subjective qualities.
The head: it's very big and fluffy, with a light brown color. The head faded away to some lace on top of the beer in about 20 seconds.
The aroma: citrusy, as you would expect. There are hints of orange peel and lemon, and a strong smell of grapefruit. Not a lot of malt here; it definitely smells like an IPA.
The taste: a lot like it smells, really. With an IBU rating this high (max is about 100) I'd expect it to be a lot more bitter, but it's really quite smooth and not overpowering at all. That strong grapefruit taste is right out front, with a little bit of the orange peel behind that (but not enough to make it really bitter). The malt follows behind the citrus, but it's not really an important part of the beer's flavor. If they could find a way to get a little bit of a biscuity malt aftertaste in here (maybe they should call the New Belgium Brewery), this might be the perfect IPA. As it is, it's damn close.
The rating: I think this might be the most drinkable IPA I've had; certainly it's the most refreshing one I've had in a while. I was a little nervous about drinking a huge bottle of India Pale Ale on an 80° night, but this stuff really works as a warm-weather beer. The only thing keeping this from a perfect score is the fact that an IPA really should have some malt to it; it doesn't mean it's worse than, say, the Ruination IPA from Stone, just that it's not as classic an example of the style. The Maximus IPA gets a 9/10; I highly recommend it for IPA fans and for beer drinkers who like a citrus taste in their beer but can't get into really bitter beers.