For those that love the bitter taste, variety of flavors, and distinct aroma of the IPA category, the Double IPA is right up your alley. Typically sporting a higher ABV than their single-hopped/malted cousins, the Double IPA (aka Imperial IPA, or DIPA) can make for a great sipper. It can also make for a heavy pounder if you’re looking to go zero to sixty in record time (not recommended). With that in mind, I picked up a pair of DIPA’s to square off against one another and invited a friend to enjoy them with me. This should effectively share the wealth while allowing me to remember which aspects of each beer I enjoyed more!

First up is Maximus from Lagunitas Brewing. An interesting analogy on Lagunitas’ website cleverly compares brewing strong beer to becoming a daredevil. Maximus sets out to achieve balance as its overarching goal, suggesting to you: “Ride a pint. Taste the hops. Slurp the malt. Drink the juice- Live to ride another day.” This short video helps explain the beer a little further, interestingly noting they feel the beer is more of a 1.5X IPA, but has all the elements of a double.

Lagunitas IPA has long been a staple in my craft beer rotation, but this is my first time trying Maximus. I’m anticipating greatness.

Up against Maximus is Flying Dog Brewery’s Double Dog. Admittedly, I’m partial to the label artwork on almost any of Flying Dog’s beers, and the Double Dog is no exception. Just take one look at this label and tell me you aren’t questioning the sanity of the artist!

I’ve had the Double Dog several times and always wondered how it would fare in a duel against a worthy opponent, so I’m thrilled to get it into a duel. Let’s see how it went.

HopDuel Survey

Better labelFlying Dog Brewery Double Dog
Better aromaFlying Dog Brewery Double Dog
Better tasteFlying Dog Brewery Double Dog
Better finishFlying Dog Brewery Double Dog
WinnerFlying Dog Brewery Double Dog

Tell us about it

As is often the case with a duel, when the results are skewed heavily toward one of the competitors, the “loser” looks like hot garbage. But I insist, the scoring here is a result of a truly excellent flavor profile from Flying Dog’s Double Dog, not an inferior offering from Lagunitas. I enjoyed the Lagunitas Maximus very much and will purchase it again soon.

After raving about my appreciation for the Double Dog label in the intro, it’s clear where I stand on that category, it was the obvious choice for me. Double Dog also won aroma because it was simply far more powerful, filling my nostrils with a sweet piney blast.

When it came to taste and finish, Flying Dog’s Double Dog again took wins in each category. It feels silly saying this, but the Double Dog has a smooth bitterness. This facet appeals to the palette without kicking you in the throat. There’s also a creamy element to the Double Dog that reminds me of a deliciously rich stout texture. For a 12% ABV beverage, the Double Dog is surprisingly easy to drink and I couldn’t recommend it more.

Before wrapping up the duel, I asked Twitter their thoughts on the two beers, and the majority agreed with my analysis. Double Dog squeaked out the win by a score of 56% to 44% (results below). Thanks to everyone who participated!

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