Maximus | Lagunitas Brewing Company

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5,625 Ratings

Brewed by:
Lagunitas Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 09-22-2001

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Ratings: 5,625 |  Reviews: 1,572
Photo of GClarkage
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

05/07/05- Purchased at Bevmo in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 22oz bomber with no dates, poured into my Stone IPA tulip.

Appearance- Great orange-yellow color with a huge while chunky head with tons of sticky lacing.

Smell- Sweet hoppy smell mostly. A pine of pine, but lots of grapefruit.

Taste- This one is mostly fruity hops rather than resinous pine hops. Bitter, but in a sweeter fruity way. Hefty grapefruit taste, with a decent malt base. Well balanced brew.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation and a heavier mouthfeel due to the sweetness of the beer.

Drinkability- Polished off a bomber over half a movie last night. Extremely tasty beer and a great one if you like your bitterness from a fruity side rather than a pine needle forest. Definitely the best value for a bomber I have had to date ($2.99). Go out and grab some today.

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Photo of pikemark
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this growler up at St. Mark's Market in New york along with some others. Was excited to taste an IPA to the max.

The color was amazing, autumn in a glass, orange copper color. Thick head that was very chunky. Great lacing. stuck to the glass til the way down.

The smell was very citrusy, almost apricot.

Tasted pumped up. Super hops and great clean finish. Only bad thing was that it knocked me out at 7.5%

A little tough to drink because of the high alcohol content but all and all a strong IPA. Definitely a bit of a different approach to IPA- stronger and very bitter IBU 72.41. If you like IPA,s you should try this one out. Doggone Good.

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Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper and amber mixture with an amazing amount of yeasties suspended in the liquid. Dull white head with some serious lace on the glass.
Aroma of tea leaves, grass and a citrus hop profile.
Flavor of caramel and toffee with some bready undertones on a bed of citrus, resin and tea-like hops.
Mouthfeel is smooth to start moving to a solid rising bitterness to counteract the sweetness present.
Drinkability is very solid. Excellent flavors and transitions but really somewhat mellower than I expected.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From warriorsoul, this came in a 22 oz. brown bomber with a paragraph of musings on the edge of the label. The beer was poured into my trusty tulip, and looked very nice, with an orange body that contained a touch of haze. The head was perfectly proportioned at two fingers thick with a rocky, foamy, creamy appearance. Patches of clumpy lace clung to the side of the glass as the beer was consumed.

The aroma was grassy and herbal, and not as overwhelmingly hoppy as I had presumed it would be. The alcohol was poking its head through the hops as well.

The taste was where the hops showed up in a more assertive way. The bitterness was up front and center, but as the tongue adjusted, biscuit like caramel malt made an appearance. The finish was grapefruit and floral with a peppery tang.

Medium mouthfeel was closer to a single IPA than a DIPA I think. The body lacked the heft that other beers from the style typically possess. Nonetheless, the beer was mouth coating and satisfying. Aftertaste was bitter and dry, but a little short lived. Definitely a notch above the run of the mill IPA, and very drinkable, but not quite a DIPA

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Photo of Hunter
3.29/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice copper-colored brew, thick head of dense tan bubbles. Scant carbonation. Nice lacing effects.

Hops are in the nose, as well as...latex paint? It's crisp but there's an unpleasant undertone to this.

Taste is potent, that's for sure. Hoppy with alcoholic heat. Think SN Pale with a pinch of Everclear. Can't find much beyond the hops and the heat.

Slightly oily mouthfeel and an aftertaste that smacks of leftover hops and alcohol. Not bad but my money's on Stone's representation of this style.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

hazy coppery amber with a thick, sticky light tan head that laces well. very flowery sweet hop aroma. a little bit of pine lies under a malty slightly caramel aroma. the overall smell is a little weak, despite what i pick up being rather good. lots of herbal hop flavor, with a building grapefruit and pine character as the beer warms. sweet caramel malts show up most strongly in the aftertaste. there is a very faint taste of something almsot like cotton candy as well. lots of carbonation and a medium mouthfeel. good drinkability, it's pretty easy to pour the last drops out of the bomber and say "already?" given the current state of american IPAs and double IPAs, this beer would make a very good IPA, but only makes for a pretty good double.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

having just tried the incredible lagunitas ipa, i expected something even greater. like a concentrated, more flavorful version of this solid ipa winner..

pours a transparent orange with a healthy head. no carbonation in the body. smells strongly of fresh hops. sweet and similar in nose to the IPA. hoppy and very bitter flavor. light in the mouth though, and too drinkable for a double ipa. for my money, i want more than just bitterness.. i want viscosity, kick, and complexity. its not here.

no aftertaste, seems to be a lagunitas special trait. wont buy again.

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Photo of aaronh
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An all-around enjoyable beer. Typical IPA appearance, medium copper color with a cream colored head. Decent head formation and retention. Fresh hop notes in the aroma backed by a bit of malt sweetness. Peppery and citrus notes accompany the bitterness on the palate, all balanced by a decent caramel-twinged malt backbone. Paired with a solid mouthfeel and a healthy dose of carbonation, it conjures up hop burps in a hurry. A pleasure to drink, I'll buy more someday.

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Photo of GolgiIPAratus
2.72/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

** Inaugural Review **

After many beers tried, this is my first attempt at a review. So, without further ado, here goes:

Sampled: 2.22.05

22 oz. / 1 pint 6 oz Bomber bought at Downtown Wine & Spirits in Davis Square, Somerville for $5.20

Poured into a wide mouthed glass, a thin head formed. I believe it was a head anyway. After a swirl, the liquid did indeed froth up, but nothing remarkable. I thought maybe I might have had a carbonation issue on my hands, however that was not the case. The brew itself was a clear amber orange. Not unattractive by any means, but not what I look for in an IPA, especially a good double. I want to be looking into at least a slight haze. Minimal lacing left on the glass while drinking.

Getting a whiff of the beer certainly lifted my hopes again. A sweet aroma, both hop ridden and fruity like your standard of the style. No particular scents grabbed me, or stuck out to set it apart from any other brews however.

And now the important part, the taste. First sip offered a slight sweet burst up front, with a bitter end as it ran down the gullet. As the brew warmed over time, the sweetness seemed higher in the mouth than it did in the nose and offered a high carbonated mouthfeel. A little heavy, but with Double IPAs, it should be expected. And despite the heaviness, this one was all hops, not much maltiness to speak of.

The drinkability of this beer is questionable, in my opinion. I was ready to quit 3/4 through the bomber, but I soldiered on. Turns really bitter as you go further through the label. And I drank it slowly over a few pours.

Overall, I was disappointed. For the price of a bottle and the effort I'm sure they put into brewing such a niche style, I expect better.

Finally, this is a spot I'll reserve for beers I don't find as satisfying. My personal suggestions/opinion if you're looking for a better example of the style:

Smuttynose - Big A IPA (More malty & fruity, than hoppy)
Victory - Hop Wallop (Way more hoppy than malty)

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Photo of rastaman
2.6/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. Really dissapointing. Just really tinny, rusty American hops, no length too the flavour. Typical pine/grapefruit. I guess i didn't like the metallic edge that most of the Lagunitas beers i've had seem to have, just really a really dissapointing brewery for me, i expected a bit more with this beer.

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Photo of Truh
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Did a victory lap in my chariot with this one on 2/15/2005. 1 pt. 6 fl. oz. bomber poured twice in a shaker glass.

Comely, virile inch of fluff with big and small that settles to a laconic peak and valley scene. Deep golden hue with a touch of orange coming to play; a bit of haze and almost no discernible action. Frank hop burnish on nose with side notes of peach, cotton candy, and a whiff of licorice. Fine bite of concentrated hop on mouth, but a very liquid feel, not overly caustic or head-crushing; floral notes of rose hip and sumac pull through. Evenly drinkable; more so than other extreme IPAs.

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Photo of clvand0
3.33/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle. Pours an orange color with a moderate head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is not as hoppy as expected - more malts than expected. The flavor has a caramel malt presence but it also has a dirty hop flavor that I don't care much for. The mouthfeel and drinkability are ok, but not wonderful.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

What a surprise to find this now available up here in Alberta, we're starting to become a two-horse town now for imported craft beer selection, more choice while heading off into the sunset.

And that's exactly what the appearance of this double IPA from Lagunitas reminds me of, the clear coppery glow of Autumn twilight, capped with a thin layer of creamy, off-white clouds. Sticky patches of lacing around the glass left to pull me out of my revery and remind me that it is still winter at this point, and snowing.

Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber, a little black and white gumshoe dick blurb on the side of the label for those who are of the sort that pay attention to the fine print. Yet the aroma is rather mild than what I was expecting for a double IPA, it is mellow and flowery, with notes of sweet toasted malt. Nicely balanced, but subdued. It gains sharp citrus/herbal notes here and there the more that it warms.

The flavour of the hops almost pinches at the throat with herbal astringency at first, gone are the mellow flowers of the aroma, and they set up camp and plan on staying as far as a lingering aftertaste is concerned. That's my first impression of the taste. The more I drink it, the more I pick up the sweet chewy malt that hangs on for the ride as boy wonder side-kick status, a ward to the hops. Grapefruit rind starts to make an appearance near the finish, with a little pine for companionship. The flavour seems to balance out more as it warms as well, or perhaps the palate just becomes more accustomed to what's going on in the end--after all, it's a bomber, we have a ways to go here. Over the course of this review the taste rating has gone from a 3.5 to a 4.0, not a large leap, but a steady progression. This is an ale that seems to unravel itself in stages. Near the end everything seems to balance out. Sweet bready malt at first, with hops steadily progressing from that point and picking up momentum towards the finish. Time is the great equalizer after all.

The mouthfeel is just gorgeous for such a hopped up concoction, smooth and velvety, with a slight oily texture on the aftertaste. They definitely got this right.

Still, I'm not craving another one. I enjoyed what I sampled, but it's not enough to drag me back immediately for another one. I enjoy my hops these days, but I'm no junkie. It's no Stone Ruination, or even Tree's Hophead to get more local. All the same, I am still very happy to see more American micros available in this local market.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.66/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to clvand0 for sharing this with me. It pours a hazy orange color with a finger and a half of head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is not what I expected. Its almost like there is a grainey quality in there. The hops are secondary to the caramel and grainey malts. The flavor is just okay as well. The dirty, slightly spicey hop and heavy caramel and slightly grainey malts are well balanced. I just don't like it all that much. The feel is very full and slightly creamy. Overall, I would pass this one up in favor of many other outstanding Double IPAs out there. Its not bad, but could definately be improved in my book.

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Photo of Troyone
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Has an iced tea apple juice color, clear, with an inch head that dissipated with limited lacing, and moderate carbination.
A light cereal caramel malt aroma, with resin grapefruit hops, and hints of butterscotch.
A lightly sweet, moderately acidic, and lightly bitter toasted caramel malt flavor; with moderate hops of resin, grapefruit, and lime; and hints of cola.
Mouthfeel has a light to medium body, dry slightly syrupy texture, soft lively carbonation, and a metallic finish.
Very drinkable beer in the session mold.

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Photo of fdrich29
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Eh, not much to say here. Worth a try, but probably only once. Nothing special, but worth a shot. Nice hopiness to it, but nothing close to being worth-y of the name Maximus. Too much hype, not enough behind it.

Definitely try it, but only pick up one bottle, that will be all you need.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Downtown Wine & Spirits in Somerville for keeping these on hand.
Pours a fairly dark copper w/ a finger & half of creamy white head. It disappears fairly quickly w/ minimal lace. The beer is not hazy at all....looks like a typical IPA.
The smell is mostly carbonation at first w/ not many flavors jumping out at me....hints of honey, buttery citrus and spice peaking out.
The taste is very nice...a sweet malty flavor w/ floral hops by its side. A bitter aftertaste that leaves a very attractive taste in my mouth. I'll admit, I was expecting a bunch more from this brew...not really "Maximus" but a very excellent beer nonetheless. I should try not to have such high expectations from Double IPA's, but w/ so many out there like Stone Ruination and Victory Hop Wallup, I can't help myself. I would drink this beer any day of the week...just wish it came in 6-packs and not the 22oz. bombers. Either way, the mouthfeel is incredible and the drinkability is off the charts.
A great first experience for Lagunitas. Thanks!

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Photo of Gavage
3.56/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange in color with a two finger head. The lasted a bit, but reduced to a surface foam with large bubbles. Light lacing developed. The aroma was weaker than expected as only some mellow pine and sweetness were detected.The flavor of a decent balance of malt and piney bitterness, but the citrus tones were too sour. Alcohol was slightly noticeable too.

The mouthfeel crisp at the start and finish. The syrupy texture of the malt last on the tongue after swallowing. Medium bodied. Not a bad brew, but the citric sourness knocked this down a bit.

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Photo of carln26
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper color with a 1 inch cream colored head that clings as a lace to side of the glass as it’s tipped. Great piney, grassy smell from the hops along with a caramel overtone. The taste has an awakening bitterness from the hops. More pronounced flower character in the taste and more malt than I originally expected. It has a bright, slick mouth feel and a great drinkability. I was under whelmed with Lagunitas’ standard IPA offering. It was good, but not great. This is definitely a cut above that offering.

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Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful golden copper color with a frothy white head that just looks delicious and leaves a nice lace. Aromas are a mix of spicy and earthy hops along with some citrus like aromas and a mix of bread. Flavors start off with malty with a nice sweet caramel tone followed by bread like flavors and some earthy and citrusy hops. The body throughout this brew is fairly creamy and full, and the finish to this brew is simply excellent with a really nice citrusy, spicy, bitter finish. Overall I would tend to see this more like an IPA than an Imperial but the flavors are worth it either way.. A nice offering by Lagunitas and the first one I've ever tried.

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Photo of Shaw
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maximus pours a nice deep golden color with a foamy yellow head. It's clear with mild carbonation. It smells of floral hops! Mmmm.

The taste is hoppy and bitter. This is a more balanced double IPA. It is along the lines of Stone's Ruination rather than Rogue's I2PA (my favorite). The bitterness, at 72.41 IBUs (according to the bottle) is quite manageable. The big hop aftertaste is also well under control. I hate to penalize a beer for not hitting me over the head with a hammer, so I'll give the taste a good score.

The body is a little lighter than I expected. Perhaps the 7.5 percent ABV contributes to the lighter mouthfeel?

Overall drinkability is good, but for those who drink more than lightweight me, be careful: This beer's strength is well-hidden.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ooh, hoppy. I have not had a good hop-head beer in a while. Nice to be back. It poured out of the bottle rust in color with no head. The aroma is if hops, rye and what I can only describe as a bowl of grapes. The taste is all hops, powerful and bitter. There are also notes of overripe oranges. The mouthfeel is biting; happily, hoppily biting. While hop lovers would enjoy this, others who do not like strong, bitter hops would most likely be asking someone else to finish it for them.

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Photo of donnebaby
3.79/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The solvent matter floating and depositing itself at the bottom of my glass is disturbing, even for a bottle-fermented brew (I hope that it is). Tastes OK so I'll go with it. Big and dense light tan top with all sorts of creamy froth lacing. Dark thick orange and particle chunk block out all light from the sun, or my lamp. Nose is pretty inferior for an IPA, or any beer that prides itself on its booze and hops. Only light sweetness is apparent, with a faint dry grain flour.

Taste is sweet, and touched with vinegar. Spicy. Mouthfeel is very nice, smooth and full-bodied, yet rolls down the throat, with the vinegar alcohol escaping at top-speed. Rough hops add to the alcohol and sugar wallop, both in the after and in the mouth. Somehow smooth.

Perhaps my favorite Lagunitas tried to date.

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Photo of kosmoraios
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent reddish-copper with minimal head. Aroma is spicy hops, very enticing. I was quite impressed with this Lagunitas offering. Taste is primarily bitter, spicy hops with a solid malt overlay - hints of citrus and tangy tangerine. Smooth, spicy mouthfeel. An excellent double IPA for the price - 4.39 for a bomber. Very drinkable, even at 7.5%.

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Photo of Southernbrew
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours bronze with a good sized sudsy head.

Aroma of bitter, flowery, spicy and grassy hops with a solid malt backbone.

Medium bodied and somewhat smooth. Flowery and grassy hops start it off then become slightly spicy. Finishes up with a potent bitterness.

An OK double IPA. Reading other reviews, I wonder if this is the freshest bottle. I found mine to be a shade grassy. Either way, I'm pleased to at least try some Lagunitas products, and I wouldn't call this a bad beer.

Thanks to Nickbagofdonuts for letting me try this.

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Maximus from Lagunitas Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 5,625 ratings