Lagunitas Brewing Company

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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #2,800
Ranked #6,834
4 | pDev: 10.25%
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States
Reviews: 1,605 | Ratings: 5,718 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Gotti311:
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Gotti311 from Wisconsin

3.25/5  rDev -18.8%

Mar 25, 2013
More User Reviews:
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BeerDocT from Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance 4.25: Pours out a coppery golden color. Excellent lacing and decent (1/4") head.

Smell 4.75: Wow! Huge bouquet on this brew. Apricot, pine, pineapple upside down cake...just amazing aromas from the hop blend.

Taste 4.5: Front is all alkaline bitterness. Middle is where a huge wave of mid-sweetness malt and the 101st airborne of hop blends invades your palate and takes no prisoners. Pine, grapefruit rind, rye...just amazing flavors at this level. Finish is tangy, slightly dry and very satisfying. Finish is a delightfully malty alkaline hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel 4.0: Great mouthfeel, but a little too much on the CO2 for this style, IMHO. Also missing a certain "creamy" middle feel of the palate which so many Imperial IPAs feature.

Overall 4.5: Excellent beer and another hop masterpiece from lagunitas. Great with greasy food, but fantastic for sessioning, this monster "Imperial" (that means a high ABV, BTW) is a must have for all the hop-heads out there. Definitely worth tracking down. A certain Roman Gladiator would be proud.

Aug 03, 2015
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someguyinohio from Ohio

4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Six pack 12 oz. beer. Poured in my tall beer glass.
Alcohol content: 8.2%

A rich light copper color with high transparency. Plenty of foam, if desired, on a hard pour, and lacing is strong on the side of the glass.

Crisp, clean and citrus with soft notes of grapefruit, malt and an ale-like alcohol.

Lots of carbonation of both large, medium and small bubbles. Yes, carb has many facets and dimensions and this beer has them with an excellent range of carbonation and suds. Viscosity is perfect for an IPA. Not thin like a Pilsner, nor thick like a Porter. Refreshing but creamy with all those hops and malt.

LAGUNITAS MAXIMUS walks that tight rope between hops and malt and does it so well. I find the some IPA's that are in the so called west-coast style, are too heavily biased towards citrus and become too astringent for my taste. Those beers such as Palate Wrecker by Green Flash are too heavily biased towards the fruit stand and for me, one-dimensional. Not sure why they called it MAXIMUS as it doesn't come across to me as an overtly citrus or pucker your mouth grapefruit IPA. I like it for NOT doing that.

I prefer the style of IPA's such as Two Hearted by Bells, Centennial by Founders and Breckenridge Brewing Special Edition 471 as striking that ideal balance (for me) between citrus and biscuit. I also like a slight alcohol finish. After all I am drinking a BEER and not some nancy-boy's Coors!

The LAGUNITAS MAXIMUS strikes that ideal balance of malt, hops, complex IPA notes of citrus and biscuit with a terrific mouthfeel and refreshing carbonation in a superb IPA.

For me, it's been a great find, and its now on my list of reference IPA's.

Aug 17, 2015
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Retroman40 from Florida

4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is what a decent DIPA should taste like. A very dark amber with a hint of orange. The smell is dominated by the citrus and pine hops. The taste again is very "hop forward" with the malt taste coming in later with the very good finish. The mouth feel is very rich and the carbonation level is perfect. My only warning is that this beer gives absolutely no warning of the rather high alcohol percentage and after a couple could sneak up on someone unsuspecting. Overall this is a great DIPA worth every penny.

Sep 20, 2014
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scooob from Kentucky

4.78/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my go-to beer these days. I love IPAs in general, but lately too much bitterness bothers me, drys out my mouth and throat, and sometimes even gives me a headache. Maximus has a satisfyingly hoppy bite at the end, but that's prefaced by so much creamy malty sweetness that, for my tastes anyway, the overall balance is perfect. It's so drinkable that the 8.2% ABV can easily sneak up on you. In which case, my headache only comes the next morning. It's also a big plus that this beer is pretty easy to find and is usually priced very reasonably. Cheers!

Apr 29, 2016
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thebrood1987 from California

5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is hop juice. It smells like a tropical island. It reminds me of their Hop Stoopid ale except I was able to get this in a 6 pack. It smells like sweet tropical fruits citrus grapefruit. The taste is just as awesome. What a slick oily smooth mouthfeel with those tropical hops sweeping across the tongue to leave a dry bitterness on the back like an IPA should. The slick oily mouthfeel and the ridiculous tropical hop flavor and smell accounts to the hop extracting method they use. Where they drain all the hops of their natural oils and alpha acids until its all into a thick syrupy liquid then they put in the beer. You can tell too because this doesn't taste like a typical IPA and its really a unique method for making an outstanding smell and tasting IPA.

I can tell this is pretty fresh too so definitely buy this fresh and warm it up for about 5 or 10 minutes out of the fridge to get that hop bitterness this is capable of. When its too cold you can taste the alcohol a bit and the bitterness is kind of subdued from the coldness. This beer warmed just a tad is amazing. Sweet thick malts mix in with the tropical, grapefruit, flowery and fruity loop type hops. I'm glad the store next to me just started offering this so I know it'll be fresh for a couple months now. Definitely get this beer if you like Double IPA's its fantastic.

Feb 03, 2011
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Taterturnt from Florida

4.51/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Probably my favorite imperial IPA, very unique flavor, standard crisp citrusy hop flavors on the first sip but then there’s a sweet malty flavor that hits the pallete in a perfectly balanced way. Not overly pronounced to take away from it being an IPA, but a nice little surprise to distinguish it from the others

Mar 15, 2018
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GreenPea from Ohio

5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I can not believe this beer has received anything but a solid A+.

The appearance is drop dead gorgeous. A beautiful amber copper colored clear brew. The lacing sticks around and a foamy head tells you it's time to enjoy.

The smell is solid Pineapple, resin, tropical fruit, and everything that makes hoppy...hoppy.

The taste is spicy clean and refreshing. Period.

Mouth feel is spot on with a clean, well balanced carbonated feel tells you everything is in check.

Overall this one works coast to coast. The alcohol is hidden well, it's fresh, clean and extremely balanced.

I'm OK with this being the only beer in my fridge.

Dec 07, 2011
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lagunitas Maximus has a thick, frothy, bone-colored head, a clear, somewhat bubbly, orange appearance, and splotchy lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of piney (but, not so piney) hop oil, and sweet bread. Taste is the same, and the bitterness is there, but not at all harsh. Mouthfeel is high medium and oily, and Lagunitas Maximus finishes on the dry side.


Oct 17, 2015
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Canslammer from California

5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My search for the perfect IPA is over! I have spent a lot of time and money looking for the perfect IPA, and finally I have found it. I seem to always get suckered in by reviews from this site and others about how good an IPA is or isn't, but my search is officially over. This is my go to beer! Unfortunately it is difficult to find.

Jun 29, 2012
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xxxcjbcxxx from Indiana

5/5  rDev +25%

One word: DELICIOUS.

High in alcohol content.

Color is deep orange, with a good head (not extremely thick and creamy, and not too thin and soda like).

Full of flavor, which ranges from bitter to honey sweet.

It's amazing how they managed to make something taste so bitter yet so sweet. It tastes extremely hoppy at first, like most IPAs, and then the after taste is of a very flowery honey.

This is a five star beer, hands down.

Sep 28, 2014
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1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear cooper-orange body with a few streams of bubbles supporting a thick, soapy white head that leaves striated lines along the glass. Nose presents a mixture of juicy fruit, bitter piney hops, sweet caramel and bready, toasty malt. It's nicely aromatic, and while it doesn't express detailed notes of any kind, it does offer a balanced potpourri for the sniffer to choose from. Potent pine sap and minimally concealed alcohol are on the tongue, with more bittering flavors like orange peel, grapefruit, and outright alpha acid/resin finishing things up. The body is slick and syrupy, medium-full weight, mild carbonayion. It's less pleasant than a basic brew, but the outrageousness of it is amusing in its own right.
In a world overfilled with beer, and in that vector much more so with IPA's, DIPA's, American Barleywines, Pale Ales, TIPA's, hoppy-takes-on-XXX-style, and beers with a literal hop flowers in each bottle, this one managed to distinguish itself, no small feat. The flavors weren't the clearest, the IBU's weren't the harshest, the alcohol wasn't the highest. But it set a lofty goal, to be good and (kinda) humble, and it achieved that. Which is greater than setting out to be the best and failing. So, Maximus the maximum it was not, but Maximus itself it yet be.

May 09, 2017
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xxxxxxxxxxxxx from California

3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: Maximus had an average appearance with light foam.
Smell: Maximus had an aroma of molasses and malt.
Taste: Maximus had a light bitter burnt taste of both hops and wheat.
Feel: Maximus had low carbonation.
Overall: Maximus had a good amount of alcohol content. People who seek a low-carbonation/high-alcohol type beer will enjoy Maximus.
I purchased a bottle of Maximus for $3.99 USD in Glendale, CA/USA.

Jun 19, 2015
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NiceTaps from New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle in a pint glass.

A- Dark orange color with abundant carbonation and a thick 1-plus f head. Lots of web lacing.

S- Bold hop aromas; pine, orange, flower and herb. Some mineral aroma holds it back.

T- More bold hops and big malts. Just a bit of sweets to go with the pine, citrus, and spice.

M- Full and hearty. The sweets on the back end balance the hops.

O- Pretty well balanced and drinkable.

Sep 20, 2014
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stevoj from Idaho

4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Nice pungent hop aroma, light amber with foamy beige head. Sticky lacing coats the glass. Taste is sharp and tangy, hops, citrus, caramel. Relatively smooth despite the hops and high %ABV, easy drinker. Nice!

Aug 30, 2016
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hopphead31415 from Virginia

4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am an avid Lagunitas fan so I am a bit sad to mention that it took me awhile to finally try this variety. I enjoyed this beer and you should know that although it has 8.2% ABV, it drinks like a 7% ABV.

Look-It has the epitome of a copper amber color and a decent clarity. The head comes in thick yet only a finger or two deep, but quickly dissipates into a fine lacing that remains all the way down.

Smell-The smell is definitely pine, grapefruit, grassy hops, and some sea-salt mixed in there somehow. The malts are mildly sweet and show up at the end.

Taste-The taste is just like the smell, but with a stronger pine flavor and a caramel malt backbone. I also get some floral and clover notes that are very pleasant and play well with the malts and alcohol content.

Mouthfeel-The feel is zingy at first from the citrus and carbonation, but the malts produce a creamy syrup feel that isn’t overwhelming. The alcohol content is almost amplified by the perfect timing of the carbonation and citrus zest. It also leaves a pleasant resinous coating on the tongue that lingers.

Overall-It is a pleasant brew with a medium-bodied and creamy texture that is not overly sweet. I would have liked to see a little bit more variety from the hops in terms of oils and flavors, but I definitely was not disappointed.

Jul 24, 2015
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yeasty dark tangerine with a huge, dense cap of lightly orange-accented beige that has a fine-grained, finely pitting surface. It's already an attractive looking beer and I haven't even seen any lace yet. As the head begins its descent, a nearly solid sheet of lace appears on the glass. Splendid.

The nose is aromatic and consists of bright, juicy citrus zest and sweet pine. I would have said IPA rather than DIPA though. It isn't quite assertive enough for the bigger style.

Maximus is hoppy, but not as hoppy as expected after tasting this brewery's IPA. The flavor profile is sweet and rounded rather than bright and pungent. Candied white grapefruit, ripe peaches in heavy syrup and sticky pine sap lead the way. The hop bill is made up of Cascade, Liberty and Emperor. There's plenty of cake-like malt on hand to provide a rock solid structure that could handle a bigger hop load than it has been given.

The finish is less fruity and more piney with a lingering bittersweet sappiness. The body is on the full side of medium, no more. Although this isn't one of the thicker, chewier DIPAs, it feels fine in the mouth all the same. I can appreciate a subtle hint of alcohol once the beer leaves the mouth, but I don't know that I would have noticed without looking for it.

I was expecting great things from Maximus after being impressed by its little brother Minimus (actual name: Lagunitas IPA). Oddly enough, the DIPA tastes less hoppy than the IPA. Since it favors the tamer end of the style spectrum, Maximus is probably a good entry-level Double IPA for those with an interest in the style.

May 16, 2005
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buzzarooski from Massachusetts

3.61/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

LOOK: Clear Orange Amber Color with 1/2 Inch Beige Head that Lingers Through Out, Excellent Lacing that Coats the Glass.

SMELL: Nice Mild Hoppy Aromas mixed with Stronger Malt and Bready Grain Scents, Burnt Carmel is also Noted.

TASTE: Strong Full-Bodied Hoppy Taste, the Higher ABV (8.2%) is Evident with each Sip and a Moderate Bitterness is noted, more so after the Swallow.

FEEL: Mild Carbonation, Moderate Pallet Dryness

OVERALL: Quality Full Bodied IPA that some could describe as "Slightly Harsh" because of the Obvious ABV%. Great Ale if you are planning on having just One or Two.

Nov 08, 2014
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AC-Mivsek from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Super spicy. Super Piney. I've come to love and expect a strong piney, hoppy presence in all their beers. This one hits hard. It's big time. A beer some breweries would put into a 4 pack and charge the same price, $9.99. Not Lags, they give ya 6 for 10 and they all pack a punch like you just dove on a hop grenade to save your comrades. Drink it.

Sep 13, 2014
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LiquidAmber from Washington

3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber with a big two finger ivory head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of caramel and biscuit malt, tropical fruit, citrus and piney hops. Flavor follows with resinous piney hops with lemon and orange citrus, pineapple and mango, light caramel malt, lightly sweet. Finishes with long lingering citrus and piney hop bitterness, moderately resinous. Medium bodied with mild carbonation, despite the aggressive head. A nice caramel based imperial IPA, hitting all the hoped for notes: pine, citrus and good exotic fruit flavors. Hops lean towards resinous than herbal, but still very nicely balanced and the ABV is well covered. Flavorful as expected from Lagunitas. These guys know their IPAs.

Apr 10, 2015
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Svenson89 from Massachusetts

3.21/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Not a big fan of this one. I find it too heavy on the malt with a weird caramel sweetness to it. I'm not a fan of malty ipas and this one confirms that for me. Yes there is a good hop bitterness to it but the sweetness sort of throws it off for me.

May 19, 2015
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Viggo from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber orange with a little bit of haze to it, with big head and nice lacing. Smell is all hops, floral, piney, strong and malty. Taste has a nice big malt background, with good floral hop flavour and a clean bitter finish. Mouth is full and chewy, with good carbonation. Not the biggest double IPA but well balanced and pretty tasty. Thanks northyorksammy.

Jun 25, 2005
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Drew966 from Florida

3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maximus pours a light copper color with a white head from a brown twenty two ounce bottle. The aroma is all hops, grapefruit and citrus come to mind. A similar flavor profile emerges, hops, particularly citrus and grapefruit like flavors dominate. Not bad for an IPA, a little wimpy for a double IPA.

Aug 18, 2007
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pwsoldier from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Mar 26, 2012
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BigMike from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev 0%

May 10, 2014
Maximus from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 5718 ratings