First Draught: A standard-setting DIPA from the U.S.
Image: David Ort
With a brewery in Chicago, Lagunitas is one of the great American beer companies that is physically close to us, but frustratingly difficult to enjoy. We're getting one such glimpse because, for the spring release, the LCBO has stocked their very good Maximus IPA.
The superlative in the name (in Latin, no less) is there because this is the double version of their regular and very good IPA. (It's also at the LCBO right now, so this is a rare opportunity for a side-by-side tasting.) But at 8.2% alcohol and 72 IBU this is a hefty but certainly not overwhelming Imperial IPA.
The rich medium copper colour of the beer gives an early preview of what's to come. It has a sweet, brown sugar aroma with orchard fruits and just a touch of bitter pine. A sip brings out plum and apricot plus tons of dark bread, caramel and other rich malt flavours. The finish lingers like the Stones when they save Wild Horses for the encore.
Maximus is a malt-forward DIPA that is balanced by finely tuned, top quality hops. Ontario craft brewers like Great Lakes, Sawdust City and Muskoka all make great beers in the style, but for context and a control it will always be important to beer lovers that we have access to market standouts from south of the border.
Lagunitas's Maximus IPA, $16.45 for 6 X 355 ml bottles, LCBO #438101