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!
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.