12 April 2008

A Hoosier in New England

Being a part of Hoosier Beer Geek has provided many benefits. Drinking great beers is the obivious perk. But meeting people and having the opportunity to drink and talk with them would be tops. So on occassion, one of our friends drops us a line, especially during their travels.

One friend is Judge Sandy. Some of you probably know her; she's a beer judge and can often be found hanging out at Deano's Vino. That is, of course, when her job doesn't send her out-of-town. She has spent several weeks in Boston recently and to help occupy her time, she's been finding good beer stores, bars, breweries, and homebrew groups. And she has been emailing me about her hopped up adventures (as Judge Sandy recently said: "ok, can you tell I am a bit bored??").

On Thursday, she sent me her review of a "fly-over beer" (in that it is brewed on one side of the country and travels through Indiana on its way to the other side of the country without leaving any of its goodness with us Hoosiers). Some of you may be familiar with Lagunitas Brewing Company and its double India pale ale "Maximus". It brewed and bottled in California and, along with Boston, is also available in Chicago and parts of Ohio.

Without further ado, here is Judge Sandy's review. Enjoy!

Lagunitas Maximus
Maximus has a complex hop aroma of citrus and tropical fruit with resiny tones. I, also, get a hint of eucalyptus or some sort of herbal character. Underlying the hop fest is a malty sweetness. It is subtle at first but bigger as the beer warms up.

It pours a rich gold/pale amber with an off-white/ivory dense rocky head. It has a decent head retention, but is not the best I've seen. There is good Belgian lacing on the glass, as well as good clarity.

There is initially a little malty/carmelly sweetness that comes across on this, but then the hops catch up and run it over! I don't pick up any of the astringency that sometimes comes with some highly hopped beers (Lagunitas says this one packs 72 IBU's). The hop bitterness makes a happy cringe on the back of my tongue. Even in the flavor the hop profile is very complex, but it is more herbal than resiny.

Maximus has a medium body and a medium to medium-high level of carbonation that makes a happy tingling sensation on the tongue and palate. The finish is a bit drier than some IPA/I2PAs than I have had, but it is not bone dry. Actually, I prefer a drier finish as I don't really enjoy a high level of residual sugars.

Overall Impression: This is a great beer! Some call it an IPA and some a DIPA. I would have to call it a 1.5 IPA. At 7.5% a.b.v., it is a pretty big beer, but deceptively so. This one would be great in pitchers and would quickly get a table full of beer geeks in trouble. I enjoy the smoothness of the beer despite it's good hop bite. In the Hoosier Beer Geek rating system, I would give this a minimum of 4 mugs!

Sounds like another beer to add to my list of future out-of-town purchases. I'm guessing I'll hear from Judge Sandy again as her stay in Boston continues. If you are on the road and want to drop us a line about a bar, a brewery, or a beer you tried, be sure to email us at HoosierBeerGeek@gmail.com.


  1. Kill Ugly Radio is the one to snag from this brewery. I think I have had 5 Lagunitas blow through the GBS. KUR is the one I still desire. Brewery has an interesting kicked-back history.


  2. Good to know. I'll have to see if I can get some delivered!

  3. Which now that I think about Kill Ugly Radio, somebody was talking about this recently. Who was it?

  4. Gina and I had the Kill Ugly Radio when we were out in DC at the Brickskeller but it wasn't a very memorable experience.

    I'd put that more on our trouble with the menu than the beer, though. Both the Brickskeller and the Kill Ugly Radio are probably worth a revisit.

  5. I enjoyed a bit - OK, more than a bit - of this Lagunitas beauty in Flyover New Jersey last summer.
    Our friends at WCB are making availablity inquiries as we speak. Yes, as we speak!
    I wonder if the original label, for whatever it was they were going to call it, was rejected.
    Hence, the name.

  6. Neither URL made it into my post above.
    The Lagunitas beer is called Censored.
    You can Google it.

  7. Mike, I was thinking either you or Jim were talking about this.

    Charlie, it would be interesting to see if the back story can be found anywhere.

  8. From a bit of googling...
    Apparently, the beer was originally called "Kronik."
    From what I read, there are "Reefer Madness" references in that name.
    Now, I'm old, but I didn't think I was that old.
    I've never heard the "K" word in drug circles...not that I hang in drug circles. No, seriously.
    Here's what's odd. Reading reviews, some boast about the hoppy nature of the beer, and some boast about the sweet, caramel nature of the beer.
    Are both possible?
    I guess after inhaling 4 Kroniks, a Censored might do both. Among other things.

  9. This was enlightening (no pun intended.)