1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Maharaja - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,680 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,680
Reviews: 1,738
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 10.64%
Wants: 258
Gots: 396 | FT: 6
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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-03-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Maharaja Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,680 | Reviews: 1,738 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thickfreakness
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Finally in upstate NY!

A- Pours with a finger of sticky head into my DFH glass. Dark, ruddy orange with a ton of sweet sticky lacing that grips the glass and drips like an oil slick. Neat!

S- Grapefruit dipped in caramel! This one smells sweet and sticky! Nice bloom of spicey fresh cut grass lies underneath the strong caramel maltiness. Honey, orange zest, pineapple and mango.

T- Sweet caramel is the first thing that rolls on the tongue... funky, yeasty grassiness followed by strong citrus and tropical fruit flavors! Over ripe peach, pineapple, mango, guava, honey, licorice, bitter orange peel, and some kind of smokey notes follow. Has just a touch of compost pile that I find myself loving!

M- For a IIPA... this is rediculously sticky and thick! Sweet caramel malts, mouth puckering bitterness, grassy outdoors funk, and a really nice blend of all three. This is really a tongue coater!

O- Really glad that this is available to me now! Really wished I picked up more than just one, but at $9.49/22oz... not exactally wallet friendly. This is really fantastic though and I will definately be grabbing more when the IPA bug bites!

Thickfreakness, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of Lukafer
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Had on tap at the Cincinnati Brew-haha, review from notes.

Received in a plastic cup, appearance was a murky orange with a slight whit head. Smells are hops, citrus hops and maybe some pineapple. Taste is citrus fruit, orange, some grapefruit, really sweet at first but with a nice hop kick at the end to even things out. Damn good beer. Mouthfeel is medium and sticky.

Drinkability is unreal with this, my girlfriend and I were getting 12 oz. pours for $4, and I had around 3 or so, no wonder I got sloshed, I had NO idea it was this high of an ABV., glad I took notes!

Lukafer, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of jorg2619
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

I bought Maharaja based on the Avery name, and a good word from a friend who had it.

This beer pours like a double IPA thick and hazy. The stench of hops followed the pour. It has a slight hop haze and after the pour a white fluffy head slowly dropped to a thin solid white head. This beer has a strong cat piss, pine like smell. Upon first sip I am hit by the intense hop flavor that moves through the mouth and ends in a mild bitter semi sweet flavor. Hop oil coated my mouth and I burbed hops after a few sips. This beer has a thick smooth mouthfeel that carries the hops smoothly. There is also excellent lacing that I have found loss in lesser examples of double and triple IPA'S. I am happy to be able to get this beer in central PA without trading; as this beer is a real treat for the hop head. Though the taste is unique it seems to land somewhere between Pliny the Elder and Hopslam. I have yet to have an Avery brew that impressed me and Maharaja lives up to what I expect from this brewer.

jorg2619, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of dedrinker
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Deep, clear amber-golden-copper with an almost off-white head. Aromas of citrus rinds - sweet perfume-y grapefruit. The flavor is sweet light caramel malt and a thick coating of those citrus-y hops. The body here is the standout. It is silky and creamy; a smooth blend of hops, malt and alcohol sweetness that seamlessly blends together to create a pancakes with syrupy glide across my tongue and down my throat. There are beers with more hop character than this and beers with more alcohol, but this is my very favorite Imperial IPA for the best balancing of hop/ malt/ alcohol in this style with a mouth feel like boozy velvet.

dedrinker, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of RThomas436
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

I had heard alot of hype regarding this fermented malt beverage. So going in I had God like aspirations for it - low and behold it delivered.

It poured a clear copper color almost like a penny. The head was creamy like fresh whipped cream.

The nose was like fresh cut fruit; oranges, grapefruits, clementines. I was also getting some melon in there as well.

Tastes like fresh hops with a malty body and bitter finish. I was expecting more carbonation however, aside from this minor flaw this beverage delivered upon all the hype.

If there is one thing to enhance I would add more citrus hop flavor and reduce the malty body.

In fact this is the beer that Chuck Norris drinks

RThomas436, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of DWilliams76
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Lucky enough to find this. Orange gold color with fluffy white head that leaves traces on the pint glass. Huge aroma: oine and citrus. The taste is a very high end malt bill with intense pine and hop flavors, very bold and sharp. Finish is great.This beer is all it's cracked up to be from everyone else's review.

DWilliams76, May 13, 2011
Photo of beer2day
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Had this many times on draft. Couldn't believe I've never reviewed it here. June 2011 edition reviewed here.

More red than gold pour. 1.5 finger white head. Slight lace and slight retention. Very light carbonation.

Sweet citrus leaps out of the glass and grabs you by the nose. Closer inspection reveals an estery hop aroma with citrus flowers and some honey. Decent alcohol feel to the nose, too.

Lots of resiny hops with heavy malt backbone. Very thick and oily. Light taste of honey and maybe even a mead-like quality. Strong alcohol presence. Very flowery - tulips? Strong hop and alcohol burn in the finish.

One of my personal favorites.

beer2day, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of budsboy
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Bomber dated 2005.

The first thing you notice on the pour is the aroma. You could smell it from ten feet. More on that later. Somewhat cloudy, reddish, with a big sticky rich head and lots of lacing.

Warm, piney hop aroma, very pungent. Woody malt aromas mix to a mouth-watering climax. I do love that hoppy aroma.

Taste is a burnt pine flavor atop a mellow malty sweetness, a hoppy punch toward the swallow and a lasting, palate busting bitterness in the end. There is no way to tell this is nearly ABV 10. Dangerous stuff.

Creamy, full mouthfeel. Not smooth, SMOOVE, almost jelatinous in its fullness. A little oily afterwards.

A big beer, one I will seek out again, if not again and again. A treat and a nice change from latest infatuation with dark, rich, alcoholic stouts (weather is getting colder). Good stuff again from Avery, who has yet to dissappoint me. Try some.

budsboy, Oct 23, 2005
Photo of dizknee24
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Lets start off by saying how great this beer was! poured very hazy orangish. had a good one finger frothy head. smelled of great hops and light aroma of fruits. Mouth feel was great. I really could not get enough of this. but my favorite thing about this beer had nothing to do with the taste. it has to do with the bottle. it displays the ABV not as 10.30 but more accurately as 10.27% amazing.

dizknee24, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of Satchboogie
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

On tap at Armsby Abbey:
6oz pour into a tulip

A: The red side of yellow, very hazy, with about an inch and a half of white head. Seems a bit redder than the bottles I've had. Leaves good lacing.

S: Huge tropical fruits burst out of the glass: grapefruit, mango, pineapple, tangerine, maybe even a little apricot. Good helping of pine, toasted malts and caramel. The caramel sweetness help bring out the juicy scent of the fruits. Might be the most intense tropical fruits/citrus nose ever.

T: I get a ridiculous amount of tropical fruits with a rush of near palate-numbing pine resin and a little spike of alcohol. As with the nose, the sweetness really brings out the juicy hop flavors and helps keep the palate from shutting down. There's a huge malt base of lightly toasted grains that gives this a great backbone and balance. The pine comes back a little more in the finish with more bitterness and another spike of alcohol. Finishes a little dry with a touch of sweetness still there. The tropical fruits and citrus last forever, barely losing intensity even through the finish. Unbelievable. This is easily the most intense DIPA (from a citrus standpoint) I've had, yet it's very balanced. Crazy good aftertaste of that lingering citrus and pine.

M: Medium to high carbonation, close to a full body with an almost syrup quality. Smooth and resinous. Dry finish with a slight alcohol burn at the back the throat.

O: Easily the best DIPA I've yet had. Intense tropical fruits/citrus with lots of depth and complexity. A huge malt base to help balance the pine resin and bitterness, and the perfect amount of sweetness to round it all out and bring out the juiciness of the hops. I can't even imagine Heady Topper, Ephriam, and Pliney the Younger being better than this. My head would explode if that's actually the case. I love this beer in the bottle, but on tap it's on anther level.

Satchboogie, May 01, 2011
Photo of jdskinns
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Just had the newest, Feb. 09 version of this beer. Always thought it was too sweet and malty in the past, but really loved this beer this time. Poured a transparent dark orange color with the carbonation maintaining a steady crawl up the sides of the glass. Smelled very sweet and good. Tasted of fruity hops, a very good, fresh taste that I was pleased with. Mouthfeel and drinkability were great. I could definitely drink on this with no problem which says a lot for this beer considering its ABV. Very good overall and this is one I look forward to trying every year.

jdskinns, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of beersands
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

A - light burn orange with an off-white head. Head settles into a tall lumpy mass with nice lacing.

S - Mostly tropical fruit - at first it is sweet grapefruit which, after a rest, becomes mountains of ripe Mexican papaya, some mango and notes of gentle spiciness. Malt is not not a factor. The head sticks to the glass all the way down.

T - starts malty and finishes mango and grapefruit. finishes and lingers sweet grapefruit.

M - about the same as orange juice

D - one of the most drinkable IPA's I've ever had. It's a close call between this and Stone's IPA. I think Stone is more of an IPA, but the delicate fruit aroma of papaya is a big plus for me (brings back memories of childhood excursions into Mexico). The bitter sweet grapefruit finish begs another sip.

beersands, May 23, 2007
Photo of vdoz3
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

22 oz bomber poured into a Coca Cola bell glass (http://www.collectorsconnection.com/imagesh5/47a073.jpg) - hey, it's sorta shaped like an imperial pint glass...

A - extremely cloudy, deep amber/orange body; small <1 finger head builds but instantly dies. The lacing is incredible; spots and trails follow the beverage level down the glass, and the foamy remnants of the head are taking forever to die away completely

S - orangey, citrusy inviting hops dominate but the unmistakable presence of a malt blanket is there even in the nose

T - oh my god...hoppiness everywhere, bright, sharp hops ring out even as the malt backbone quickly follows along, quelling some of the brighter hops and leaving a more balanced aftertaste

M - smooth and silky; the aftereffect (thanks to the malt) is not a depraved, post-hop drymouth, it is instead a very subtle bitterness, one that leaves this reviewer's thirst well quenched and ready for another sip

D - Beautiful...let's have another. Too bad I only bought one.

Picked this up on a recommendation, REALLY glad I did. Got the duganA while I was there, but it was even sharper and brighter with less of a quenching aftertaste (my tasting notes call it "the granny smith of IPAs"). They warned me that Maharaja > duganA...I guess they know their stuff!

vdoz3, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of djbreezy
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

appearance - poured a nice copper orange with a decent head that settled, great lacing

smell - the nose is citrus hops, very aromatic

taste - the citrus hops are the showcase here but the malts are very flavorful and provide a strong support

mouthfeel - a very medium/big bodied beer especially for an IIPA

drinkability - very complex and unique, a quite enjoyable IIPA, the flavor is delicious

djbreezy, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of MarvinSnyder
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

5-20-10 - poured into a Dogfish Head snifter - 1 Pint capped bottle - bottled in March 2010 - Batch 11

Appearance: Pours a deep honey-like orange with a bubbly, creamy, white head. Very nice lacing. A pretty site indeed!

Smell: A pungent hop aroma with oranges, grapefruit, grass, sweet candied tropical fruit (especially pineapple), and some floral undertones.

Taste: A delicate, malt sweetness initially balances a bitter hop flavor that follows immediately and eventually wins the day. Also, a subtle taste of alcohol flashes that adds a little complexity to the mix.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation. This beer leaves a lasting soft, tangy bitterness. Syrupy on the palate.

Drinkability: You can take your time with this beer! Highly drinkable, although due to its strength it is not necessarily a beer you can drink more than 1 of in a single sitting. Still, it is very drinkable and balanced for a DIPA.

Comments: On 5-6-10, I opened a bottle designated as having been bottled on June 2009 - Batch 10. While it was similar, Batch 11 provided a nicer balance than that found in the previous batch.

MarvinSnyder, May 21, 2010
Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Batch 9, Bottled in Feb. 2009.

Pours golden copper into a large snifter. The head dies quickly into a white ring with islands of relatively large bubbles bordered everywhere by tiny ones.

The smell is rich and powerful like earth and the hearts and stems of fresh flowers possibly orange blossom as well as the seeds. Really rich and complex. This is far beyond your average beer and even most DIPAs.

Taste is overall orange at first. Not acidic citrus like grapefruit or lemon juice but the zest and seeds and pith and all. That's odd, and dare I say unique. There are caramel toffee notes that compliment the orange well.

Mouthfeel is really good. Foamy and creamy at first then settling into a full bodied liquid that reverberates after the swallow. The finish just seems to echo causing me to swallow several times for every sip.

It may just be the batch but as far as traditional hop flavors here there is only a slight bitterness but otherwise this is a different I2PA altogether. H/T to the brewers for this unique interpretation on the style.

I'd love to try this on tap to see of there's any difference and I'll likely get at least another one of this batch a few months from now but I also look forward to future batches.

StrangeBrewer76, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Lightly hazed coppery crimson hue, under an adequate layer of beigish foam.
Nose reeks of hops. Piney and citric, yeah, ripe and luscious, a refreshingly lively aroma, very raw, like steeping ones senses in the freshest form of hops.
Taste: thick with hoppiness, again, rich and full of flavor, not the least bit timid....hops and bitterness hang on the palate, dig in deep, stay a spell...
this is a menacing monster of an IPA, and I want to make it my friend!
A challenging ale, but exactly the challenge we hopheads require...each sip releases a succor which enacts a sublime kind of pleasure... (that means I liked it! ;^)...
Full-bodied, intensely flavored, long, bitter, fruity finish...
The Maharaja is a mighty ruler and commands the palate in full, it's reign lasts long beyond the length of the 22 ounce bottle...if you love the homulus lupus, he has you in his sway, no questions asked...damned good stuff. Ranks among the best IIPAs I've had, somewhere in there, anyway...blessedly hoppy, leaving hop trails all along the palate...goodness, they're coming out of my burps, now, too...may I say? a very nice drink, for those of us on the hoppy side...oh, yeah!!!

enormous thanks to mentor for the bottle!

feloniousmonk, Jun 05, 2005
Photo of joeseppy
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%

Big cascading effervescence with a one inch head that resembles the thickness of my shaving foam. Deep golden amber with ruby hues in the sunlight. Severe lacing.

As far as aroma, not much happening. Faint wafts of sweet grapefruit and hops.

Wowza, wowza, wowza....what a IIPA bonanza! Deep malt backing that supports a muddled sweet mellifluous tropical fruit rush. Guava, papaya, mango and grapefruit. I also imagine myself sucking on a hop bud.

Low carbonation, resinous, sticky, chewy deliciousness.

A tremendously tremendous IIPA holding true to form. This is like squeezing a grapefruit right into your mouth. This is one you can crush. I say amen to this this sir.

joeseppy, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of arfenhouse
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%

A: Dark copper orange with off white head. Retention is good, some lacing.

S: Biggest scent I'm getting is pineapple and pine needles. Sweet tangerines.

T: Start off with a jab of pineapple bitterness. Orange peel and sweet malts that linger for a while. Ends with a drying pine cone flavor.

M: Medium-full mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Sticky and drying.

O: Sweet and hoppy IPA. Very tasty. Nice alcohol kick.

arfenhouse, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of dheacck11
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%

Love revisiting this. Pour is a lovely slightly hazy golden tangerine amber. Half finger of head, fading quickly.

Nose is not too prominent, but a strong flavor of creamy caramel blending with citrus predominates.

Taste is wonderful. Lovely crisp citrus upfront followed by a solid suprisingly malted backbone, with a massive wallop of soaked, bitter, potent hops. Lingers in your mouth.

Feel is rather thick and robust.

Such a wonderful, and unique, DIPA. Get it when you can. It's like a meal though.

dheacck11, Aug 03, 2013
Photo of gdw2
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%

Batch #14 from June 2011

A - Lighter amber color with a great initial thick off white head. Head died down slightly after a little bit. Lot's of lacing the whole way down the glass.

S - Strong citrus/hop smell with strong notes of pineapple and grapefruit.

T - Pretty strong hop bomb in your mouth at 102 IBU. Strong citrus taste from the hops with a little bit of malt flavor at the end. Alcohol taste is there, but well masked by the hop flavor.

M - Thicker but refreshing. I almost would like a little bit more carbonation, but maybe that is just personal preference. I have had beers in the same style with a little bit better mouthfeel, but this one is definitely far from bad!

gdw2, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of Osiris9588
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%

Wonderful beer. It has an amber color with a golden glow. It was delivered with a creamy two-finger head with great substantiation. The aroma is of roasted malt and citrus. The diverse flavor sings with strong, bitter, and dynamic hops, toasted malt, citrus, and caramel. The mouth is complex and pleasing--slightly bitter and sweet on the front palate, finishing nice and toasty. Drinkability through the roof. Good stuff indeed, lads.

Osiris9588, Aug 26, 2006
Photo of sloejams
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%

I'm of the lot that prefers to call excessively hopped IPAs - "Double IPA". "I2PA" is a trendy way to make it internetty. "DIPA" cuts to the chase. For Avery Brewing Co , with other big beers such as The Czar and The Kaiser have a theme going, only "Imperial" will do.

A seasonal release for the summer, is now available in California's better liquor shops in early April. It pours a dark amber color with a remarkable 2 finger head. It looks glorious. It smells glorious too - full on hops: a great balance of piney and sweet. The taste fills out with a nice, smooth tanginess. It has that bitter bite but is cut with the almost honey resin.

It's very easy drinking for the 9.9% ABV. I was a bit shocked to see it running that high. I've found Avery to be a decent brewery, but there wasn't any beer I'd go out of my way to get. Until now...

sloejams, Apr 05, 2006
Photo of Beertracker
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%

Maharaja is derived from the sanskrit words mahat, - "great" and rajan - "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. This newest Avery Dictator completes the "Dictator Series" joining the likes of The Kaiser & The Czar. Be aware that The Maharaja is a limited release only available for the summer. Welcome to his kingdom!

Avery Maharaja (Imperial IPA) pours up lively with a big, frothy off-whitish head that nicely crowns the deep reddish copper-orangish amber body. Lots of lacing with very good-excellent head retention. The pugent aroma is resiny showcasing lots of fruitiness (passion fruit, tangerine, white grapefruit) & piney (woody) hops. The maltiness has a moderate caramel overtone with a defined toasted (bread/cracker) character. The flavor starts off a bit cloying with a sweet underlying caramel maltiness with hints of toasted pine nuts. The scorching bitterness completely dominates and delivers a bold, slightly rough, chewy, spicy, warming finish. Avery's Maharaja is a superb hop drop that will bring a bit of color to any Dictator's cheeks! Pop a top on one and maybe you can be king for a day?

CHEERS! Beertracker

Beertracker, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of GarrisWH
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%

22 oz. bomber - Batch 10: Bottled in June 2009

A - Pours a very slightly hazy orange-tinged copper color with about two fingers of frothy off-white head. The head dissipates pretty slowly, leaving thick, sticky lacing behind. Retains a nice cap throughout drinking.

S - Pretty intense, spicy pine and citrus hop aromas up front with a sturdy pale malt backbone with a sweet, caramel, biscuity character. Hint of alcohol on the nose as well.

T - Very nice, complex hop flavors up front with spicy, bitter qualities with of floral, pine and citrus (mostly grapefruit) tones. There's a kind of earthy, grassy quality to the hops as well. Balanced with a pretty healthy dose of pale malt with a sweet caramel/biscuit flavor. Piney, resiny bitterness lingers in the aftertaste.

M - On the lighter side of full bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Goes down smooth and definitely has a very resiny mouthfeel.

D - Considering the high ABV, this is a very drinkable brew. I really like the intense hop flavors in this one, and it manages to maintain a balance as well. Caution is warranted, as this one goes down dangerously smooth and easy for 10.69%.

GarrisWH, Aug 02, 2009
Maharaja from Avery Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 4,680 ratings.