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Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
MaharajaMaharaja

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,011 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,011
Reviews: 1,779
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 315
Gots: 525 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-03-2005

Maharaja is derived from the sanskrit words mahat, meaning “great”, and rajan, meaning “king”. Much like its namesake, this imperial IPA is regal, intense and mighty. With hops and malts as his servants, he rules both with a heavy hand. The Maharaja flaunts his authority over a deranged amount of hops: tangy, vibrant and pungent along with an insane amount of malted barley – fashioning a dark amber hue and exquisite malt essence. Welcome to his kingdom!

The Maharaja is the second installment in our Dictator Series.

102 IBUs

ABV varies slightly batch to batch.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,011 | Reviews: 1,779
Reviews by zhanson88:
Photo of zhanson88
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I'm going to re-review this one....I can clearly tell that my previous review was of an old bottle. This is the 2011 version that I had on tap at the Flying Saucer in KC. From a snifter.

Appearance: Maharaja comes out a burnt orange color with one finger of pure white head. Both lacing and retention are very good. Outstanding looking beer. The head really sticks around very nicely throughout the duration that the beer lasts.

Smell: I get a big citrus component as well as a caramel malt sweetness that is nice without being too malty. Citrusy and piney hops on back end.

Taste: Again the caramel malt sweetness up front, followed by a great, strong citrus component. Piney hops, followed by quite a bit of alcohol on the back end. The alcohol really shows on the finish, which is what prevents this one from grading out higher.

Mouthfeel/Overall: The feel on this beer is outstanding. Between light and medium bodied, nice fine carbonation. This beer is very near to creamy, which I don't get very often in this style. Overall, very good DIPA. A touch too much alcohol on the palate hurts it somewhat, but it is still very good.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

Maharaja quickly became classic among the über hopheads. We guess we fall into the group somehow, bring on the hops!
More than ample lacing from this extremely hoppy beer, bright copper hue. Big punget oily hop aroma of tobacco, hemp seeds, grapefruit zest and fresh mint leaves. Big oily smoothness in the medium to full body. Lots of hop flavor on the palate, fresh hop oil, herbs and mint, bitter tobacco, a touch of hemp oil with some earthiness. Maltiness stands strong with spikes of caramel and bready flavors. Alcohol brings some warmth and fruitiness to the table with more of a subtle pear and mango flavor. Hop bitterness is all around and never leaves even far into the bittersweet finish, more of a mellow bitterness that's thick.

American beer at its best here, hopefully it's one more known example where the industry is going and how far it can reach when it comes to the level of flavor. If you are a hophead and have yet to try this beer, what are you waiting for?!!

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The second beer of the sample I took last night. I was very excited to finally be able to try this one on tap. Consumed on 04/03/2009.

The pour was very nice with a rich light golden amber. Smooth and very cloudy, this thing looked like it was about to kick my ass, and as I was about to find out, it was defintley going to. Lots of ripe grapefruit and pineapple hops that just tore through the air as soon as I leaned in to it. Huge notes of hops dominated the entire flavor as well. Sharp flavor here as the resin like hops took all the moisture out of my mouth and left me parched, dry and looking for more. One of the best finishes I have had in a big IPA in a very, very long time. I would love to try this one again and will defitely be on the lookout to try it again.

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy light amber-orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that died down but thick rings of bubbles on the surface around the edge and down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of citrus hops in the nose—grapefruit stands out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste is filled with flavors of grapefruit and also has notes of caramel malts, pine resin hops and hints of sweetness. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and relatively crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a bit of dryness and hints of stickiness in the finish.
O: This beer is definitely a sipper given its strength. However, it’s not all that difficult to drink because only hints of alcohol are noticeable in the taste.

Photo of womencantsail
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to knucks999 for sending a fresh bottle of this to me as an extra in a recent trade!

A: The pour is absolutely gorgeous and just about perfect for an IPA. Amber in color with great clarity and a fluffy white head which leaves some great lacing.

S: The nose if full of grapefruit, pineapple, and some other tropical fruits. A blast of pine finishes things off quite nicely.

T: The flavor is fairly sweet with plenty of fruit notes. The grapefruit is not all that bitter and there is a lot of pineapple. The fruit is followed by a sweet caramel malt flavor and the sip is finished off by bitter pine.

M: The body is medium to full (for an IPA) with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: I was very pleased by this beer. I had it back when I first started getting into beer and wasn't impressed (very likely an old bottle), but this is really a great DIPA and very easy to drink.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours a clear honey brown with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Huge foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus zest and herbal hops, honey, and malt. Taste is of citrus zest and herbal hops up front with a nice honey, brown sugar, and malt finish. There is a medium bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good DIPA with a very nice balance in both the aromas and flavors.

Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice to try another big bad double IPA,pours a slightly hazy deep orange with a tight one finger head that leaves a sheet of lace behind on the way down,well what would you expect from a double IPA aroma wise HOPS and more hops in the aroma pine and definent grapefruit coming thru srong not much malt profile but it wasnt expected.This beer coats the tongue somewhat thick in the mouthfeel dept the alcohol flavor doesnt overpower though by any means,big resiny and citrusy can make the tongue curl.Not quite as good in my opinion as its Colorado cousin Great Divid Hercules double IPA but this is no chump damn fine beer.

Photo of tectactoe
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice copper and amber color with some shockingly excellent clarity; a light beige, creamy, fine-bubbled head tops this one off and leaves little bits of lacing on its way down the glass. Big-time pine and citrus hits your nose right away; mild pineapple, grapefruit, orange zest. The hop profile is lightly peppery, piney, and leafy. As it opens up, it becomes more weed, dank, and pungent. The hop bill is met with an equally powerful malt bill; sweet, toasty, steely caramel and light brown sugar on the nose. Again, there are some light spices, mostly reminiscent of white pepper, floating around in the aroma.

The taste hits big with a uniquely pungent and sweet hop flavor, alongside a faint cinnamon and white pepper spiciness. Upon tasting, the hop profile seems to be a little more floral and perfume-like than the nose would have you believe. Caramel malts are present, and heavy at that, maybe almost too powerful for a DIPA. Sweet bread and butter also comes alive thanks to the hefty malt bill. There's a nice sharp bitterness brought in from the leafy hops, followed closely by a nice, counterbalancing sugar-coated grapefruit flavor. Little bits of citrus sift into the aftertaste with a dying leafy and floral flavor from the hops. Medium-thick body with middle of the road carbonation.

Decent DIPA, although maybe a tad overrated in my opinion. Little heavy on the malt, I would've liked to see a little more hop flavors jumping out, although the hop profile was pretty unique in its own right.

Photo of ExtraStout
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours a standard burnished caramel orange with 2 plus fingers of sticky head that leaves some light lacing.

Pineapple is the dominant smell coming out of this one along with citrus fruits, a hint of pine and a big billboard stating: Warning, major caramel malt!

Yep, the billboard wasn't lying. Hefty sticky sweetness with a touch of acridity and roast, pine and citrus hops keeping up though. BIG is the word I'd use, no surprise though from Avery. Pretty typical American DIPA, big all around, plan is to knock your socks off. Pretty well executed.

Plenty of crisp carbonation keeps this one from weighing your mouth down, yet the hefty nature of this and the sweetness of the malt make this a no-more-than-one-bottle beer.

Photo of APetitfils
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice golden orange color with slight light brown. Overall very bright colors that are extenuated even more by the off-white/ivory head that has tightly knitted bubbles and retains decently well. Slightly murky consistency

S: An unexpected citrus/sweet hops aroma that gives you a pleasant wake up call to the sniffer. I got strong alcoholic aromas out of this too, which did not hurt the overall quality but gave it a balance that really sets you up for the taste.

T: Great earthy and piney hops flavors that hit first like they should. Sweet malts: grapefruit, lemon, and citrus. The alcohol plays an important role in the taste as well and specifically balances out the citrus and bitter malts to be more rounded and complex (I think that's where the more tropical signatures are coming from). Real great.

M: Medium bodied that gives you the bitterness that an Imperial IPA should have (102 IBUs on this one), touch of the sweet malts that makes this one unique, and the alcohol that brings it full circle

D: To start I liked the way that maharaja isn't about specifically showing off a hoppy bitterness. There is much more involved then sucking your tongue out your face. Also, with a 10.69% abv, I would have thought the alcohol (though also appreciated) would have drowned me out a bit... It didn't. Its not to be taken lightly, but not feared at all. I liked it a lot and in many ways solidified my good opinion of Avery in stone. A great try and recommend snagging one. For those out there wanting to match food, I had maharaja with a dank roasted turkey sandwich with some biting jack cheese, made it all the better.

Photo of hopsleeroy
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle

A-Clear amber with decent white head
S-Like somebody slapped me in the face with a pine branch soaked in alcohol. Very sweet on the nose but lots of hops.
T-Very sweet almost candy/honey sweetness with an alcohol burn, sharp pine and more orange than grapefruit, a fair amount of alcohol in the taste, detracted from the flavor somewhat, Not a delicate flavor but in your face
M-Medium to full full in mouth, fairly creamy, good carbonation
D-High alcohol in taste and in abv would prevent drinkning too much, but I'd drink more than one pint.

Not a very sublt beer and a little overpowering in the alcohol department which is usually what I think of the big Avery beers.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a burnt orange pint with a nice white
head and visible carbonation hopping from the
bottom of the glass.

S: Abundance of citrus, grassy, and pine aromas
float off of this beer.

T: The citrus hits you immediately followed by
the florals/grassy flavors. The finish leaves
you feeling like you've sipped some Bombay
Saphire.

M: This is a beer of substance kind of heavy in
on the pallet and almost thick.

D: Very drinkable if you can get past the ABV
which I didn't mention in the "T" area
because I thought it redundant.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Maharaja Imperial India Pale Ale. 10.27% alcohol as stated on bottle. Bottled in Feb. 2009 batch 9.

A- Pours a thick orange fluid with one inch off white head that fall to creamy bubbly rim around glass. Leaves excellent patchy lacing that hangs around till the beer is long gone.

S- Smell is of rich fresh hops. Grapefruit, lemon and tangerine are first noticed. Mild malts and alcohol esters sneak in late in the nose. Top notch freshness.

T-M- Taste is a ground breaking grapefruit tart with matching tones of fresh cut grass and glorious notes of floral hops. At 102 ibu's this beer is packing a very nice hop experience with excellent balance between massive hop tone with subtle malty charactor... almost perfect.

D- For a beer of this magnitude I would love to find it on tap and sip pint after pint night after night. Wonderfully done brew, too bad I bought it in North Carolina and live in Florida. Would love to keep a few around.

Photo of sgoodship
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was beer was most generously given to me by Hophead101. Thanks Greg.

A: Incredibly deep, murky coppery amber. Very fine carbonation rising rapidly. It delivered a nice cream colored one finger head without any effort. The head retention is great and it sticks to the glass nicely, leaving a very impressive bubbly and intricate lacing.

S: Nice fresh grass. Strong hop resin. Big fruit - mostly grapefruit. The caramel malt comes through loud and clear too. There's a little alcohol that takes over the nose a little too much as the drink progresses. The overall smell is incredibly sweet.

T: Very tasty. Powerful stuff. Much as you would expect from the smell but the bittering hops come through on the finish and deliver a death blow. The aftertaste is tangy has some alcohol and the bitterness leaves you with that nice dryness that makes you want to do it all over again. As it promises, it takes no prisoners in the hop or malt arenas. I usually love malt but I'd love to know what this would taste like with the malt dialed down a wee tad. Balance is in the palette of the beholder!

M: Medium bodied but the huge amount of malt makes it feel very round and creamy. The medium carbonation keeps it lively and stops it from being too heavy. The alcohol is turned up a little too much and delivers a little burn to the back of the throat.

D: An amazing brew. Would drink again in a second and it is way up there in my list of DIPA's. Now, if I am going to nit pick, I have to say that for my personal taste, the sweetness was a touch too sickly and the alcohol flavor is too exposed. Again, pay attention to my score to realize that these points are minor in the overall experience. At the end of the day, it was an incredibly bold DIPA that was thoroughly enjoyed!

Photo of JMD71
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ap: Pours a copper/gold color with a vocal head of tight laced bubbles. Head recedes fairly quickly. Vigourous carbonation.

Ar: Floral, herbal, hoppy aroma offset by sweet caramel malt. Slight alcohol notes. Candied orange peel, orange marmalade.

Ta: Sweet caramel melt flavor in the front leads to a blast of hoppy bitterness in the middle which fades to a warming alcohol finish. Beautifully balanced between sweetness & bitterness, along with nice alcohol bite.

Mo: Full bodied! Very rich & chewy. A true meal! You can feel the loads of malt in the body. Very smooth for the high ABV.

Dr: Easy drinking for the strength. The fuller bodied mouthfeel does not detract from its drinkability. A nice sipper....

Comments: My first offering from Avery & well worth it. Very well balanced DIPA which masks the high ABV well behind the bountiful malt & hops. This one is a must for all hopheads!

Photo of steelerguy
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Orange amber with a thick, sticky, lasting, off-white head. Moderate carbonation perfect for an Imperial IPA.

S - I don't think a beer can smell better. This was meant to be a big hoppy monster with huge hop aroma and it lives right up to it. They cut no corners to make this a perfect smelling IIPA.

T - Citrus and floral hops all over. So much that they could easily overwhelm the beer, but a simple but strong malt profile backs them up. Is it possible "balance" a beer this extreme? They have done a fine job making a crazily hopped brew balanced with a simple but hearty malt bill.

M - Great body to back up all that alcohol and malt flavor. Any thinner and the heat from the alcohol or bitterness from the hops would be too much, but now they pulled it off.

D - A bomber of this is perfect, this is not a beer you are going to session or drink too much of. It is not refreshing and is a bit challenging, but you will enjoy the challenge.

Photo of Dmann
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An exceptional beer! The pour was a perfect dark amber color with a super fluffy white head that left much lace on the glass. The smell was pure piny hops and a very small hint of orange zest which was very inviting. With the first sip, the pine flavored hops explode in your mouth and are almost too intense if not for the great malt balance that comes next, followed by a slight alcohol flavor in the finish. The great thing about the flavor is that the malt balance is not overly sweet, it is dry in a way and really does well to balance out the hops but not get in the way. This is and excellent beer and if you are a fan of hops, you will love it for sure!

Photo of TuckerCarlson
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank on-tap out of a tulip glass. Cloudy amber with a decent head to it and better lacing than I would have expected, given the alcohol content.

Beautiful floral smells. I could have spent the entire time just breathing in the aroma and feel like I'd gotten my money's worth.

Strong hoppy citrus flavors in the introduction, followed by decent malt flavor. Finishes with overpowering piney oils that may be a bit over the top.

Incredibly rich mouthfeel, among the best I've had, though it missed the 5 by having a bit less carbonation than I felt it deserved. Could have been a fluke, though, because I've had other draft beers come across as under-carbonated because they were either from the bottom of the keg or from a keg that wasn't finished quickly enough.

Drinkability goes down because this beer is so overpowering that it almost precludes conversation. As a friend who sipped my beer said, "that's work", and then immediately afterward commented that his Lagunitas IPA tasted a bit insipid by comparison. Also, I had donated blood earlier in the day, and the effects of the alcohol were downright distracting by the time I got to the bottom of the glass. Not that I would have considered not finishing it, however.

I will definitely order this beer the next time I'm at Korova, a bar on the Commons in Ithaca, NY.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.43/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A good amber orange pour forms a bubbly white head on top. Little spots of lacing appear all over the glass. Bright and vibrant...looks pretty good to me. Aromas of sweet, sugary caramel malts, cotton candy and citrusy hops that have a piney twang. The hops seem too subdued in the nose for me and a bit off overall. Still has a nice aroma overall.

First sip brings a sweet, nearly cloying caramel maltiness upfront with a mix of bitter citrusy/piney hop flavors across the palate. The hops seem to be a bit muddled to me and the candy like sweetness gets to me after a few sips. I have to say I was expecting more out of this one. Drop this one and bring back the Eleven!

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied..slightly slick with good carbonation. This one left me longing for something more...I'll have to pass next time and hope they re-use the recipe for Eleven one of these days!

Photo of blitz134
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been wanting to try this one for a while. JUST picked it up at the store and I'm already in the bottle (a bit earlier in the day than usual, hehe).

Hops hiss out from under the cap when I crack it open. Bottled in Feb '06, so this is pretty fresh. Orangish, light caramel colored clear body. White head on top. Not overly big, but a nice layer sticks around capping this one off. Grips the sides of the glass.

Hops abound in this one as expected. Lots of pine and citrus explode from the glass. Some straw, grassy aromas come in too. A bit of caramel malt sweetness sneaks in the aroma as well.

Spicy hops hit the tounge initially. Resinous and pine hops dominate the flavor. Balanced really well with some biscuity malts with a touch of caramel once again. Finishes pretty bitter (nothing I can't handle or don't enjoy though). Its more bitter than hop flavored. I'm not saying the flavor isn't hoppy, because it definately is, but the flavor disappears quickly once its down. Some lingering effects outside of the bitterness could be good. No hint of alcohol at all...might be a bit troublesome later on.

Mouthfeel is fairly full. A bit of oiliness, but not too slick going down. Good feel though, but like I mentioned above, the bitterness lingers and the flavor goes away. Drinkability is nice. Nicely hopped and well balanced, really quaffable for this level of ABV. Definately a must pickup if you see it...

Photo of markmo
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at bag of nails. Excellent!

Photo of sellmeagod
2.99/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A supreme, ultra-fancy looking bottle covered in aluminum and colors. A pour that leaves monstrous head and an orange golden glow. Incredible appearance that only loses points because of the excess floating sediment.

The taste is so powerful, all about the hops at 100+ IBU. I actually think this started to taste better as it warmed up, but still the hops nearly mask any other taste, and hops for hops sake is more of a novelty than a necessity.

A bit of citrus smell and a very powerful hop aroma.

The problem with the price comes down to this - the 22oz size and the 10 dollar price tag makes this require dedicated drinking, and the payoff (other than the awesome look) does not come. This won't be a common purchase simply out of value reasons (there are much better/cooler economic choices).

Drinkable? Well, for the 10.5 abv and being an IPA, I'd say it does decently. But what beer will you feel cooler drinking? Not many.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, this beer was an amber color with a thick, white, sticky head. Lots of lacing. The aroma was intensely floral, with a bit of malt. Big piney hops taste, again a bit of malt. Pretty well-balanced, although this was a really hoppy beer. One, maybe two, at a sitting.

Photo of NWer
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Batch 13
March 2011

Wow! Where do I start?

Poured into my chalice deep bronze color nice light bronze head retains well minimal lace.
Aroma outstanding. Can't quite pick out individual flavors but moving on to taste, intense hop and malt flavors at the same time. The greatest beer sometimes is the last beer I had and that might be the case this time but suffice it to say that you want to drink one of these before you die.

Update April 2013
On tap at local watering hole recently blew me away. It had been a while - too many beers and all that. Checked back on my review and reassured by my original 5 on taste. Upticked appearance and mouthfeel. Deservedly so.
Release 17 2013
Not quite as overwhelming that I had on tap but still stellar. This beer should be much higher on the pecking order of top 250 in my opinion.

Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A clear red-orange with a nice white lace.

S - Definitely get alcohol as the prominent smell. There is also an earthy/piny aroma from the hops.

T - Alcohol is also the prominent taste. As the alcohol subsides, apples and pears come through, which are followed by a nice bitterness from the hops that really coats your entire mouth.

M - The body is thick and a little syrupy, and the carbonation is low which is nice for a beer with this abv.

O - This is a really nice beer. You can't have too many of these because of the combination of the bitterness and alcohol. But having a glass is really really enjoyable.

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Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 5,011 ratings.